MARCH AT A GLANCE:
CURRENCY (as of 19th February): Over the past 3 years, the Pound has lost about 15% of its value against all major currencies. As we’re approaching the Brexit deadline on the 29th March, developments around the Withdrawal Agreement, more than anything else, will be the primary drivers for the Sterling performance in March. The short-term outlook for the Pound-to- Euro exchange rate is improving and it’s trading at around 1.14. It continues, however, loosing against the American Dollar and is now quoted at 1.292. Against the Norwegian Kroner, the GBP has been trading at 11.16 NOK, but it was also seen at 11.06 last week.
- Volumes from Norway are currently in line with the same period last year (although at higher prices) but are expected to drop from 26-30,000t a week to 20-22,000t a week in the next month.
- This, along with Chilean harvest reductions, will apply pressure to pricing.
- In addition, seasonal prices tend to bottom in this period before climbing slowly towards Easter – the increase levels will depend on harvest and production in the sea.
- Brexit is also introducing uncertainty due to possible currency fluctuations.
FRESH WHITE FISH
- Cod & Haddock - Strong availability and good quality from both Norway and Iceland.
- Hake - The recent high prices, triggered by the slow start to the season, are easing back
FRESH FARMED SEA BASS & BREAM
- Good supplies are expected to continue throughout the month on both species with stable pricing.
FRESH TUNA & SWORDFISH
- A good month for Tuna landings in the Maldives with stable fishing conditions and steady prices.
- Swordfish should be readily available from the Seychelles, India and Sri Lanka.
OTHER FRESH FISH & SEAFOOD
- Lobster – Prices remain high for Canadian Lobsters as a result of an increased demand from Asia and the reduced fishing due to the extreme weather. Little Natives being landed and sold at a premium price.
- Squid – Seasonal drop in landings until water temperatures increase in spring.
- Mackerel – Seasonal price increase also applies to this species. In addition, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for all North East Atlantic Mackerel fisheries will be suspended from 2nd March following the recent stock assessment. The 2019 quotas have already been reduced by 20%.
- Coldwater - Availability of cooked and peeled Prawns is reduced due to Canadian fisheries being affected by quota cuts in 2018.
- Warmwater – We will see freshwater Prawn prices going up following reduced harvest in Bangladesh due to prices to farmers last year being below cost.
FROZEN COATED FISH & SEAFOOD
- Squid – Following poor landings of Illex and Todarodes Squid last year, raw material supply has been reduced which has impacted prices.
- Cod Goujons – 2019 Barents Sea quota cuts have been having an effect on coated product prices.
APRIL & MAY HEADS-UP:
- Fish fingers – We will be seeing inflation due to raw material price rises across white fish.
- Scampi – Continued high demand vs. low landings forces price rises to boats and processors.
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