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Fish & seafood outlook

Fish & seafood outlook

What's happening in the market in December

DECEMBER AT A GLANCE:

  • Salmon – Steady Norwegian volumes offset tight Scottish supply but increasing seasonal demand is now pushing prices up.
  • Cod & Haddock – Christmas holidays in Norway and Iceland will affect fresh landings and availability at the end of December and into January.
  • Native Crab - Prices are under pressure due to declining landings and the Asian market’s increasing demand for live Crab.
  • FAS Cod & Haddock – Inflation in December is driven by limited landings, 2018 quota reductions and general demand.
  • Best of Skipper’s Catch: line-caught Sea Bass, Cornish Sardines, Turbot.
  • Heightened demand, with prices peaking at Christmas time, will have an effect on fresh Scallops, Lobster, wild Turbot, Monkfish and Dovers.
  • We are under pressure on some of our frozen products but will not move our prices before Christmas. Unfortunately, there will be increases in the NewYear on some areas including plain and coated Cod, Haddock and Hake, King Prawns and coated Prawns, coated Plaice, wild Salmon and Basa.

CURRENCY: The Pound has fallen recently due to continued political instability, which in turn is affecting investors’ confidence in the Brexit negotiations. The current stronger economic growth in the Eurozone is already having implications on the Pound to Euro exchange rate, which is now in the area of €1.11 with Euro expected to strengthen further. The GBP/USD exchange rate is currently around $1.31 and appears to be trading within the middle of its recent ranges. The Pound to Norwegian Kroner exchange rate is currently seen at around 10.86 NOK. (as of 15th November 2017)

FRESH SALMON

- Norwegian Salmon volumes are rising however, Scottish fish remain tight. The run up to Christmas will see growing demand from smokers and retailers, driving increased cost prices.

- Although prices will peak in December, it is expected that rising global demand for Norwegian Salmon in the early part of 2018 will keep prices at a high level.

- Post Easter, increased harvest volume may facilitate a price reduction as long as demand doesn't grow quickly.

FRESH COD & HADDOCK

- Any possible price increases on Cod will be mainly driven by limited supply as Icelandic and Norwegian fisheries will be shut for at least two weeks over Christmas with no larger vessels going out.

- Christmas holidays will also affect local Haddock supply with smaller size fish becoming scarcer. Haddock prices are already high and this trend will continue throughout December.

- We will have defrosted options available throughout the festive season.

FRESH FARMED FISH

- Sea Bass & Bream - Although the supply of both is expected to remain stable, the fluctuating exchange rate may affect prices.

- Meagre - Limited availability of popular 2-3kg and 3-4kg fish but abundance of other sizes (600-800g, 0.8-1kg and 4kg+) due to a delay in the growth of the next generation causing a shortage of mid grades. We will not see any improvement until spring and prices will remain high on larger fish.

- Turbot – Price increases will be mainly driven by seasonal demand.

FRESH EXOTICS

- There will be good availability of Tuna from the Maldives, India and the Seychelles but volumes will become more restricted during the Christmas holidays.

- The Chilean Swordfish season has now finished but we will have good supply from the Maldives and the Seychelles, with the exception of Christmas.

OTHER UK FRESH FISH & SEAFOOD

- Poor weather and the Christmas break in landings will impact availability of John Dory, Hake, Turbot, Plaice, Dover Sole, Brill, Lemon Sole, Sea Bass, Gurnard, Sardines and Squid.

- Native Scallops – Poor weather and great popularity on Christmas menus will push prices up.

- Native Lobsters - Season will come to an end in December so any catches will command a premium price. Landings in Canada should increase but with heightened demand from Europe and Asia, prices will be high, as always, during the December and into January.

- Plaice – Fish are now filling up with roe; the spawning season will continue until March when flesh quality will start to improve.

- Crayfish – Winter weather conditions, including ice build-up on some of the rivers and lakes, means limited availability that will push prices up.

CHILLED ANCHOVIES

- Following 2 years of stable prices, we are experiencing inflation on chilled marinated Anchovies due to raw material price increases and the fluctuation in the EUR/GBP exchange rate.

FRESH & FROZEN NATIVE CRAB

Prices are currently under a lot of pressure due to:

  • fishing season in the UK being down by over 30% on last year;
  • the weak Pound increasing demand from European traders who are buying more than in previous years;
  • a new market for live UK Crab emerging in Asia, expected to take up to 20% of landings this year;
  • combined, the reduced supply and increased demand are having a significant effect on the UK Crab processing industry.

FROZEN AT SEA (FAS) COD & HADDOCK

- We have experienced an unexpected rise in costs of our frozen at sea whitefish, caused by limited landings, quota reductions for 2018 and general demand, prices will increase in December.

FROZEN FISH & SEAFOOD

We are expecting price increases on some of our frozen species in the New Year driven by a number of factors; more details to follow in the January edition of Outlook.

- Hake - strong demand, quota reduction in 2018 and volatile Pound to Euro exchange rate.

- Cod & Haddock – quota reductions and short supply of Pacific Cod.

- Coated whitefish – inflation on raw material and production costs including packaging, coatings and ingredients.

- Coated Plaice – limited landings of smaller size fish suitable for processing and increased demand.

- King Prawns and coated Prawns – Black Tiger species declining in volumes vs. Vannamei species.

- Wild Salmon – high demand for Alaskan Salmon driven by poorer quality of Russian fish.

- Basa (Pangasius) – lack of supply from Vietnam as farmers are not harvesting in expectation of receiving higher prices from China.

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