Weekly Seafood Report

Tim Sloan V.P. Sales & Marketing E.Frank Hopkins Co.,Inc. 215-468-9190 215-468-9189 Fax 215-588-8017 Cell Tsloan@hopkinsseafood.com

Tim Sloan
V.P. Sales & Marketing
E.Frank Hopkins Co.,Inc.
215-468-9189 Fax
215-588-8017 Cell

According to recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies, US citizens are missing out on the health benefits that seafood has to offer. Studies show that US consumers are eating less seafood than is adequate to meet the government’s dietary guidelines.
2) Louisiana’s shellfish industry (Crab, Oyster & Shrimp) enjoyed a record breaking 2014, valued at $371 million. More Oysters are being harvested & being converted for frozen inventory.
3) Asking prices for imported IQF Tilapia remain below last year’s because of overall weak global demand & plentiful supplies. However raw materials are becoming tight, which will increase prices in the future probably around late fall into the holiday season.
4) Salmon-a combination of low prices for farmed salmon, a gluttonous run of wild salmon & a strong US Dollar are causing many suppliers to operate in the red. The US dollar has been strong against the Yen & Euro. Chilean exporters are down approximately 24% or $1.8 billion in the 1st half of 2015 mainly attributed to falling prices. Meanwhile higher prices for Norwegian fish help that country to a record breaking July for seafood exports. Salmon accounted for $458 million of the record $687 million, better than 40% of July’s increase, volumes remained virtually the same. Importers are experiencing increases in the spot buying market. Norwegian producers forecast a tight market for the rest of the year. Our Norwegian & Scottish are Sashimi quality & are raised for the Sushi market. On the Wild side-total landings are close to 144 million fish, Sockeyes account for roughly 50 million. Recently Sockeyes have been running very consistent but Kings have seemed to dry up.
5) Bad News/Good News for Seafood Officials in Vietnam. Vietnamese shrimp producers are projecting a decrease of 40% in sales to the US mainly due to lower prices. However officials will cash in with the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU & other Southeast Asian countries. The details still have to be approved & finalized. Under the FTA, Vietnamese exporters will see an elimination of almost all EU custom duties. In return, Vietnam will lessen tariffs over a 10 year period. In 2014 Vietnam exported a total of almost $8 billion worth of seafood, their main items are Shrimp, Basa & Tuna.
6) Ground Fish-(Cod, Hake & Pollock) prices remain consistent. Haddock prices especially for IQF product seem to be less stable. Overall on the fresh side supplies are keeping up with demand. Conservationist in Chile are trying to preserve Southern Hake stocks.
7) The availability of our Long Line Locally Caught Mako Shark, Swordfish, Albacore & Yellow fin Tuna has been excellent. The Canadian season has opened, although many fishermen are waiting for the Tuna to fatten up. Meanwhile authorities in the Marshall Islands are pushing for quotas for Big Eye to preserve the species there.
8) The King Crab market continues to adjust higher on all sizes (6/9, 9/12, 12/14, 14/17, 16/20 & 20/24) of Reds. Supplies are limited based on average or slightly above average demand. The Alaskan & Canadian Opilio Snow Crab market is higher on 8/up clusters. Two US groups have alleged the US has lost $600 million in profits & taxes in recent years due to Illegal Russian King & Snow Crab harvesting. The report referenced supply chain traceability data. The report also acknowledged that the Russian government “has stepped up” to help control the problem but that Illegal, Underreported & Unregulated harvesting is still an industry wide problem.
9) El Nino effects are expected to negatively impact production of Honduras shrimp & lobsters by an estimated 18 million pounds.
10) The US & South America Mahi Mahi season is closed. The South American season will get underway October 1st. The El Nino is expected to produce large quantities this season.
11) Pasteurized Crabmeat market remains stable. We have adequate supplies of both our Bay Colony from Indonesia & our VIP from Vietnam to get you through the summer & beyond.
12) Lobsters & Meat-ever think you would see where a Tail would be a better value then Claw& Knuckle meat? The Canadian season is just getting underway & will run until October 11th. Usually this is the time of the year when we see the New Shell/Shedders out of Maine & Massachusetts, that supermarkets run cheap & are usually dead or very lethargic by the time you get them home. The majority of these lobsters are sold to Canadian processors for CKL meat & tail inventory because of their cheaper prices. Currently due to the harsh winter, that hasn’t happened & Lobstermen are actually taking their prices up. Experts predict the “Shed” may not take place until October & Maine fishermen only go to November. Obviously they will not harvest as many lobsters for processing as they ordinarily do. Demand for meat typically drops off after the summer & tail prices increase as buyers look to the holidays. I predict the price of tails will increase a $1 or $2.00 a lb right after Labor Day. National Lobster Day is September 25th.
13) Fluke/Flounder prices remain high due to very limited quotas in New Jersey, Massachusetts & Rhode Island. The quotas are so small that it doesn’t pay enough for the fishermen to go out & target them. A nice lower priced substitution would be the 4/6 oz refresh Atlantic Flounder.


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