1) According to the NRF’s annual survey, roughly 80% of Americans will celebrate Easter; 2016 spending will average $146 per person, the highest level in 13 years.
2) Fallout from the algae bloom in Chile is being felt throughout the seafood industry. Chile, is the world’s 2nd largest salmon supplier, they have lost production of more than $800 million of salmon & trout. The total is roughly 15-20% of Chile’s 2016 expected production; asking prices from Chile, Canada, Norway & Scotland are up. Shortages of Fresh Salmon are being felt everywhere, our buyer & cutters are doing a fantastic job keeping us supplied with the freshest product in the market. Also please remember we are entering Holy Week/Easter, where supermarkets around the world will be promoting Salmon on the front page of their ad. Even with all that, Fresh Salmon remains a tremendous value as a Center of The Plate item.
3) New Jersey is open for Fluke harvesting, the majority of the fish are coming out of Virginia. We hand cut these Sushi Grade fish everyday.
4) The availability of our Locally Harvested Species has been improving with the warmer weather, even supplies of our Live Hard-shell Clams are improving. Bluefish & Mako Shark offerings are pretty much the only species with limited offerings recently.
5) We have been bringing in gorgeous Halibuts from Nova Scotia on a daily basis. We should start to see some offerings from Alaska as the season is just getting underway.
6) The Alaskan Pollock & Salmon fisheries have entered the 4th stage for their Responsible Fisheries Management re-certification.
7) Thanks to the strong value of the US $ against other world currency, Bronzinos are a great value & priced less now then they were 2 years ago. We import over 1,500 lbs of these tasty fish from the Mediterranean every week.
8) As mentioned here last week, the Lobster season should start earlier then normal due to a mild winter in the NE. An early opening happened 2 years ago, this caused supply chain issues because of high numbers of Soft/new-Shell lobsters. Lobstermen/women are currently experiencing the lobsters shedding their shells in the pounds. This is causing problems as the new/soft shells don’t hold up well & more mortalities are happening as a result.
9) Shad season opened March 15th in New Jersey, enjoy this highly seasonal delicacy while it lasts. Shad fillet & Roe are especially popular with the 55 year & older segment.
10) The Full Moon occurs on March 22nd, this should increase the availability of our Long Line Fish.
11) Australian Yellow Fin Tuna landings are up 20%. The Eastern Tuna Fishery catch limit was 2,200 tons for the 2014-15 & the Western catch limit was 5,000 tons. Proactive & responsible fishery management are some of the main reasons for such a healthy 2015-16 stock. The 2016-17 season began on March 1st. US Tuna imports from Vietnam grew close to 10% due to high demand for all tuna products. We directly import our Bay Colony Center Cut Loins, Saku Blocks, Steaks, Medallions & Chopped Meat from Indonesia.
12) A drought resulting in high salinity levels in the Mekong Delta is causing losses on the shrimp farms. Estimates are about 25% of the farms have been affected, Vietnamese officials have lowered forecasted production.
V.P. Sales & Marketing
E.Frank Hopkins Co.,Inc.