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Fish & seafood outlook

Fish & seafood outlook

What's happening in the market in January


  • In season: farmed Turbot, Cuttlefish, Manila Clams, farmed Sea Bass & Sea Bream, Mussels, Whiting, Skrei Cod (until April).
  • Salmon – January will be similar to December price-wise as the Norwegians ease back into full harvesting after the holidays.
  • Cod & Haddock – Less availability on markets and higher prices.
  • Skrei Cod – Start of season for this delicacy, sustainably caught by small day-boats in Norway. Catch it now as it’s only available until April.
  • Bass & Bream – Stable prices in January but availability may be a concern in the near future.
  • Mackerel – Reduction in 2019 quota will cause prices to inflate.
  • Tuna & Swordfish – Prices will ease back as fishermen go back to sea.
  • Chilled Crayfish - High demand in the Chinese market continues pushing prices up.
  • Lower winter landings may be affecting prices of Brill, Dover Sole, Herring, Langoustines, Lemon Sole, Megrim, Monkfish, Ray, Sardines, Sprats and Turbot.

CURRENCY: The Pound has taken another significant dive in the second week of December, following the Prime Minister’s decision to call off the MPs’ vote on the proposed Brexit deal agreed with the EU. The parliamentary vote is now scheduled for the week commencing the 14th January and it is expected we will see another volatility spike. Last week the rate has fallen to 3-month low against the Euro, however it is currently stable and quoted at 1.111. The Sterling has also recovered off recent lows against the US Dollar and is seen at around 1.26. The Pound to Kroner exchange rate has recently fallen to 10.71 but has managed to recover to 10.89. (as of 17th December 2018).


The fresh fish market is prone to availability issues and fluctuating prices caused by unpredictable weather conditions and landings, and seasonal holidays - but at M&J, we always have a solution in place:

- We have a fantastic range of defrosted products including Cod, Haddock, Salmon, Tuna and Scallops. Freezing fish and seafood immediately after catch locks in the freshness and stops any deterioration in quality.

- Frozen alternatives come handy if price point is important for you. And to help you take the load off your kitchen, we also have some ‘pan ready’ Plaice and Lemons – frozen in their prime and already fully prepped.

- With many wild species being a bit hit and miss at this time of year, ask your branch about farmed alternatives, such as Sea Bass, Trout, Turbot and Halibut. These are available all year round and won’t come with the wild fish price tag.

- Great cheaper species alternatives to menu favourites in January:

  • Salmon – Rainbow and Sea Trout
  • Cod / Haddock – Coley, Hake, Whiting
  • Sea Bass – Meagre, Barramundi
  • Dover / Lemon Sole / Plaice – Megrim
  • Turbot – Brill
  • Native Lobsters – Canadian Lobsters


- Rise in December prices has been lower than anticipated following reduced demand of Norwegian fish and inventory build up in October and November.

- It was mainly due to Chile sustaining a good year on year growth and the high volumes of Chilean Salmon being primarily exported to Russia and China, which affected demand of Norwegian fish from those countries.

- January traditionally brings pricing at similar levels to December as the farming community slowly return to work following the holiday season.

- Volume growth in 2019 (all regions) is predicted to be in the region of 5%.


- Due to poor weather expected in the early part of January, fishing will be slow for the first 2 weeks with less availability on markets.

- Overall fresh prices for the month are expected to be higher than in December.


- Prices should be stable for the start of the month.

- As one of the major Turkish suppliers is going into liquidation, there is expectation for demand from other suppliers to rise in the future with less supply in the market.


- High winds in Scotland may delay or even cancel harvests, which will further hamper availability and drive prices up in January.


- The first 2 weeks of January will see fishermen gradually getting back to sea after their holidays during the Christmas period, especially in India.

- We should see fish coming through from the Seychelles, Maldives and Sri Lanka. Prices may be a little high to start with but they should ease as we approach February.


- Shortages of supply in market, following limited landings in the US and unfavourable Euro to Dollar rate, have pushed prices up.

- The prices won’t come back until Q3, when the new season’s stock filters through to the market.


- Following recent advise from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), the EU, Norway and the Faroe Islands have agreed 20% reduction on next year’s total allowable catch for northeast Atlantic Mackerel.


- China’s high demand continues with the majority of Crayfish being sold on the Chinese domestic market.

- As a result European importers are facing significantly lower volumes available and inflated prices.


- The Marine Conservation Society has recently changed rating of the Tub and Yellow Gurnards to 5 ‘Fish to Avoid’, which in turn will push prices up on the Red and Grey type.

- The John Dory rating has also been changed to 5 as it is mostly landed as a bycatch not a target specie.

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From the latest updates on what's been landed where through to weather reports and customer reviews. M&J Seafood keeps you close to what's breaking in the industry.