By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*
The salmon market finished the year 1.29 percent higher. Total month-to-month data revealed an increase of 12.6 percent in December when compared to November. Additionally, when looking at the same time in the prior year, total imports were 6.36 percent lower. Fresh Atlantic wholefish imports are up 1.62 percent and fresh fillets are up 3.54 percent YTD.
Atlantic Salmon Fresh Wholefish
Wholefish imports completed the year with increases; up 1.6 percent. Canada, the driver of this category, was up 3.9 percent. The Faroe Islands continued to see increases and they are 9.3 percent higher YTD. Norway continued to see decreases throughout this year; down 15.4 percent. The month-to-month data reveals a 13.6 percent increase when comparing December 2016 to November 2016. In contrast, December 2016 was 2.6 percent lower than December 2015.
Imports of European wholefish through the end of 2016 were lower than 2015 by 6 million pounds and down from 2014 by 3.3 million pounds. The European wholefish market has been barely steady to weak during February. All origins of 6-7s are trending a good amount higher than the 3-year average.
2016 imports from Canada on the West Coast (WC) are slightly below 2015 imports, down 2.3 million pounds. Currently the market in the West is flat; supplies are adequate to fully adequate for a moderate to fair demand. All sizes listed are trending well above their three-year averages.
Atlantic Fresh Fillets
December 2016 imports of fresh fillets finished out the year stronger than 2015 at 298.4 million pounds, the highest YTD volume on record. Month-to-month data showed an increase when compared to November 2016 of 17.0 percent. Additionally, December 2016 was 0.3 percent higher than December 2015.
Chile is the driver of these increases and 209.7 million pounds were imported during 2016 which was down 2.2 percent. Norway continues to see double digit increases; up 21.6 percent with 44.5 million pounds imported for 2016.
Fillet imports from Chile and Europe total 298.4 million pounds, the highest total seen in the past four years. Currently the fresh fillet market is about steady to barely steady. Supplies are adequate to fully adequate for the current moderate to quiet demand.
Retail data for the month of February shows the average price for Atlantic salmon fillets adjusted higher when comparing to January of 2016. 2016’s average was $6.88 where 2016’s average was $8.69, $1.81 higher. When comparing February 2016 to January 2016, there was only a $0.28 increase from an average of $8.41 to an average of $8.69.