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Fish & seafood outlook

Fish & seafood outlook

What's happening in the market in February

FEBRUARY AT A GLANCE:

  • In season & at their best: Brill, Dover Sole (from mid-February), Lemon Sole, Monkfish, UK Scallops, Turbot, Mackerel, Skrei Cod (until April).
  • Salmon - Steady pricing will continue from January supported by healthy global demand.
  • Cod & Haddock – With stable prices, Haddock is at its best and along with Cod is a great alternative to currently volatile Hake.
  • Bass & Bream – Turkish farms are expected to put their prices up following increasing demand from Turkey and prices rising in the rest of Europe.
  • Tuna & Swordfish – Prices should improve due to increased availability.
  • Lobsters – Prices due to go up following poor catches in Canada and the approaching Chinese New Year.
  • Skrei Cod – In season with availability and prices improving continually (you can find more information on Skrei Cod here).

CURRENCY (as of 22nd January 2019): The Pound has managed to rebound against the major currencies after MPs voted to reject the Brexit deal on the 15th January. The Sterling still remains ahead after receiving a boost on the back of robust UK employment data. There have also been some developments recently indicating that a 'no deal' Brexit on the 19th March could be avoided. Against the Euro, the British currency has been trading in the area of 1.137 – any further unresolved Brexit uncertainties may, however, knock it back to around 1.11. The Pound-to-Dollar exchange rate is quoted at 1.291 while against the Norwegian Kroner, GBP is currently seen at 11.10.

FRESH SALMON

- UK, Canada and other regions should all experience volume growth in 2019 while Chile will expect a volume decline versus 2018.

- Pancreatic disease outbreaks in central Norway could lead to somewhat higher supply in the short term but in total lead to lower supply and higher prices as the fish are harvested earlier at lower weights.

- Scottish supply will be tight in Q1 with the majority of volume being secured by UK retailers and smokers, and prices will be higher than Norwegian fish.

- Q1 pricing will remain at January levels with continued healthy global demand.

FRESH COD & HADDOCK

- Quota cuts and reduced volumes have been driving upwards price movements over the last few months but they should stabilise in February.

- It’s a great month to buy Haddock as its quality is at its best.

- It’s also the best time for Skrei Cod, a seasonal Norwegian speciality known for its lean meat, only available between January and April. Skrei are sustainably caught by small day-boats along the Norwegian coast while migrating back to their spawning grounds.

FRESH FARMED SEA BASS & BREAM

- Prices of farmed Bream in Europe have increased by about 10% as availability decreased; a similar scenario is expected for Bass.

- Due to increasing demand for both species from Turkey, the Turkish farms are expected to put their prices up in the next few weeks.

FRESH HAKE

- Hake availability has already been difficult throughout winter.

- With a slow start to fishing in January due to holidays and lack of fish due to the cold water temperatures, the market has now become extremely volatile.

- Given the current market conditions, Haddock and Cod will both be a better option for menus.

FRESH TUNA & SWORDFISH

- January has seen a slow start to fishing with weather effecting availability and prices.

- Landings should improve in February with supply mainly coming from India and the Maldives.

SEASONAL FRESH FISH & SEAFOOD

- Gurnard – Recent MCS rating change of the Tub and Yellow Gurnards to 5 ‘Fish to Avoid’ will in turn push prices up on Red and Grey Gurnard.

- Sardines – Out of season in the UK. Sardines from Brittany will be available but are traditionally more expensive.

- Plaice – Fish are full of roe; the spawning season will continue until March when flesh quality will start to improve.

- Lobsters – There will be very few Natives available. Canadian Lobster catches are still poor and prices are expected to rise over the next few weeks as we approach the Chinese New Year on February 5th and Valentine's Day.

- Sprats & Squid – Limited landings as is normal at this time of year.

FROZEN COD & HADDOCK

- Barents Sea quota cuts agreed for 2019 between Norway and Russia have been having a significant effect on headed & gutted (H&G) and coated products prices.

- The Cod quota was reduced by a further 6.5% to 725,000 metric tons while the Haddock quota was set at 172,000, which is a reduction of 15% on the 2018 total allowable catch.

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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.