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JULY AT A GLANCE:
CURRENCY: The Pound has been under pressure, particularly in the wake of the General Election. It has however, managed to lift itself up from recent lows, also thanks to the recent decision by the Bank of England to keep interest rates unchanged. It is currently trading at $1.275 against USD and within the range between 10.8-10.85 against the Norwegian Kroner. It is expected that the Pound to Euro rate may drop as low a €1.127 from the current €1.145 as a result of election. (as of 16th June 2017)
- Weekly volumes have been below 2016 levels in the last few weeks driving a cumulative 15% volume decline, however surplus Scottish stock has pegged prices back in the last fortnight.
- Prices traditionally stay high during July as the Norwegian holiday period creates a supply shortage.
- Historically we have seen pricing drop significantly in August as European holidays reduce demand whilst Norway returns to full production.
FRESH FARMED SEA BASS & GILT HEAD BREAM
- Fish growth in the Mediterranean has slightly improved however, comparing to last year, sea temperatures are still low.
- One of the Turkish Bass farms has already exhausted their stocks; this will have an effect on prices as we are approaching new season in August/September.
- Bream prices will remain high as the season starts in July; we are expecting prices to drop starting with smaller new generation fish in August before moving onto larger grades (600-800g) in September & October.
FRESH COD & HADDOCK
- Summer holidays in Iceland will affect availability of both species from this country as producers shut for the summer until 10th July.
- We should see more larger size Cod available from Norway while Codlings will be in shorter supply.
- The Norwegian fleet is now moving over to line catching Haddock which are also of a larger size at this time of year as the mature fish return from the spawning grounds.
- Availability of Haddock in sizes 5-6oz and 6-8oz will be limited.
- There is a significant shortage of Tuna with landings affected by monsoon weather in the Indian Ocean combined with the annual fishing ban on the West Coast of India. Availability from that region will continue to be patchy and affect prices from other locations.
- No supply issues anticipated on Swordfish from Chile where landings remain strong. Prices will stay firm though, as we see shortages from the other major origins such as India, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles.
- The main Dover Sole season is now over until September/October with very few fish being landed at premium prices.
- UK catches of smaller size Lemon Sole should be reasonable but larger grades 16oz+ will continue fetching higher prices due to low landings.
- The English Channel quota on Megrim has been reduced by 25% this year. In addition, favourable exchange rate makes it more profitable to export it.
OTHER FRESH FISH & SEAFOOD
- Brown Shrimps – North Atlantic Shrimps are coming towards the end of the season, prices are soaring as the availability gradually declines.
- Squid – Low landings due to the end of the UK season.
- Meagre – As we are awaiting new generation of fish from Greece to enter the market, the fluctuating exchange rates keep prices firm.
- High prices continue on Atlantic Cod raw material due to:
- Only recently, ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Seas) has advised that the Barents Sea Atlantic Cod quota should be reduced by 20% from 894,000mt to 712,000mt. This is subject to ratification in October by Russia and Norway who share the quota.
- Haddock raw material price YOY is c. 30% higher on the back of stronger demand and lack of raw material. ICES has advised that the Barents Sea Haddock quota is cut by 13% to 202,000mt; to be agreed in October.
- Frozen At Sea (FAS) Haddock in 5-8oz is only available in small amounts at this time of year. Cod 16-32oz is very limited in any volume and prices remain high, versus more plentiful 8-16oz option.
FROZEN WARMWATER PRAWNS
- Raw material prices remain high with no sign of softening.
- Price rises have been driven by a number of factors:
- We have now started seeing gradual improvement in availability.
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