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Fish & seafood outlook

Fish & seafood outlook

What's happening in the market in July

JULY AT A GLANCE:

  • In season & at their best: Grey Mullet, Mackerel, Sardines, MSC Clams, Native Crab, Lemons Sole, Plaice, Turbot, Pollack, Native Lobster
  • Salmon – Early harvesting following the recent Algal Bloom and YOY decrease in total biomass in Norway have had a significant impact on supply and prices.
  • Cod & Haddock – Limited availability and high prices throughout July and August due to annual holidays and 2019 quotas coming to an end.
  • Sea Bass & Bream – Steady prices and good supply on majority of grades apart from the larger 600-800g fish.
  • Tuna & Swordfish – The monsoon season is affecting supplies.
  • Halibut - 3-5kg fish short in supply due to slower growth in winter.
  • Frozen FAS fish - Prices affected by 2019 Barents Sea quota cuts.
  • Frozen Soft Shell Crab - Shortages due to poor weather in Thailand and export limits on smaller sizes in Indonesia.

CURRENCY (as of 18th June): The failure of Theresa May's Brexit bill to pass through Parliament, her resignation and concerns around the new Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy, have all added to the Pound’s significant fall since early May and its 6-months low against the major currencies. The chances of the UK dropping out of the EU without a deal are increasing, which may send the currency into further decline. However, thanks to the release of the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI), which rose by 2% in May, the Sterling has managed to stabilise against the Euro and Dollar, and it is currently tradingagainst both at 1.126 and 1.262 respectively. Against the Norwegian Kroner, the Pound has been trading in the area of 11.022.

FRESH SALMON

- The Salmon market continues to be challenged by a number of factors:

  • Early harvesting in Norway following the recent Algal Bloom outbreak brought prices down, however, the knock on affect has seen prices rise sharply towards the end of June before easing slightly.
  • A decrease in the number of fish in the 2018 generation used for harvesting from now until June 2020 - total biomass has fallen YOY from 5.9% to 2.7%.
  • July is traditionally the month when Norwegians embark on their annual holidays, resulting in restricted harvests and processing.
  • Currency continues to affect Salmon pricing with the British Pound trading at a low level not seen since January this year.

FRESH WHITE FISH

- Cod & Haddock – We will see the start of annual holidays in Norway and Iceland when factories close for maintenance whilst there is less fish being landed. This will have an effect on supply over the next couple of months, especially as the majority of fishing quotas should be completed by then. The new quota will start in September.

- Hake - The volatile market continues but we monitor the Scottish, Norwegian and South Coast markets daily to ensure continuity of supply.

FRESH FARMED SEA BASS & BREAM

- A good supply on both species but larger 600-800g fish are tight with high prices due to slower fish growth over the winter.

FRESH TUNA & SWORDFSIH

- As the monsoon season approaches, Tuna and Swordfish from the Indian Ocean will become scarce, pushing prices up.

- We will be relying on Chilean Sword to see us through the monsoon season but with quite poor landings so far, there are concerns that Chilean fish may also face some availability issues.

SEASONAL FRESH FISH & SEAFOOD

- Lemon Sole - good availability on fish up to 454g but larger sizes will continue being very limited.

- Lobsters – Native season is now in full swing giving us good availability and easing pressure on Canadian Lobsters prices.

- Halibut - Smaller fish 3-5kg are short in supply due to slower than expected growth over the winter but there is a plentiful supply of 7kg+ fish.

OTHER FRESH FISH & SEAFOOD

- Expecting limited landings of Crayfish, Cuttlefish, Dabs, Dover Sole and South West Monkfish so prices may remain high.

- Drop in landings will push prices up on Brill, Squid and Witch.

FROZEN SOFT SHELL CRAB

- Storms in Thailand have impacted farming with death rates being extremely high.

- In addition, new legislation introduced in Indonesia last year has been limiting the export of the most popular (smaller) sizes.

- Intermittent supply will continue until October at the earliest.

FROZEN AT SEA (FAS) WHITE FISH

- Cod and Haddock FAS fillets remain a challenge on the back of the 2019 Barents Sea quota reductions.

- Requirement for FAS fillets remain strong in all markets and with the summer months approaching, we are expecting to see further increases in demand and prices.

- The fluctuation we are seeing in exchange rates is also adding to the pressure.

FROZEN YELLOWFIN SOLE

- Prices of processed fish from China into the US have been under a lot of pressure due to lower supply driven by boats in Alaska pursuing more profitable species.

- The demand for the species from Europe has also increased as it has been sought more due to a shortage of Plaice.

FROZEN PLAICE FILLETS

- Inflation driven by the 2019 quota cut of 12% for North Sea Plaice.

- The European Parliament also voted in favour of a full ban on pulse trawling from July 2021. This will have a major impact on the Dutch fishing industry and will cause a significant reduction in landings.

- Demand for non-pulse landed Plaice in the UK is already growing.

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