By: Paul B. Brown Jr.*
Currently the farmed salmon complex is mostly steady. The European wholefish market remains unsettled with both higher and lower offers noted. The Canadian wholefish markets have been full steady to firm on smaller to mid-sized fish but about steady on 14-up fish. Chilean fillets have been full steady to firming. Overall demand has been moderate to active.
Atlantic Salmon Whole Fish
YTD wholefish imports continue into September with increases; up 2.6 %. Canada, the driver of this category, is up 4.7 % YTD. The Faroe Islands continue to see increases this year and they are 18.4 % higher YTD. Norway continues to see decreases throughout this year; down 20.9 %. The month-to-month data reveals a 2.6 % increase when comparing September 2016 to August 2016. Similarly, September 2016 is also 7.1 % lower than September 2015.
September imports into the Northeast continue to see a jump compared to 2015. Currently the market in the Northeast is steady. The market trended higher through most of the month of October and has been steady during November. Supplies are adequate for a moderate demand. Imports into the Northeast are at 42.6 million pounds. All sizes listed for Northeast wholefish are trending well above their three-year averages. Imports of European wholefish during September were lower than last year at the same time.
2016 imports from Canada on the West Coast (WC) are slightly below 2015 imports. Currently the market in the West is steady to full steady on smaller to mid-sized fish and barely steady to weaker on 14-ups. Demand ranges fair to moderate. All sizes listed are trending at or above their three-year averages.
Fresh Atlantic Fillets
September 2016 imports of fresh fillets continue the year stronger than 2015 at 226.0 million pounds, the highest YTD volume on record. Month-to-month data shows a decrease when compared to August 2016 of 2.6 %. In contrast, when comparing to the same time last year, September 2016 is 1.4 % higher than September 2015.
Chile is the driver of these increases and 158 million pounds have been imported thus far for the year which is up slightly to 0.2 % YTD. Norway continues to see double digit increases YTD; up 27.7 % with 29.2 million pounds imported so far for 2016. Fillet imports from Chile and Europe total 220.7 million pounds, the highest total seen in the past four years. A toxic algae bloom in Chile this spring has affected month-to-month imports; this month imports were down 2.6 % for September 2016.
Frozen Atlantic Fillets & Portions
Imports of frozen fillets are down 5.1 % YTD. In contrast, when compared to August 2016 levels, imports are up 3.0 %. Shipments from Chile are up 3.3 % YTD and imports from Norway are down 25.1 %. YTD. Imports of frozen fillet (non-Atlantic) decreased 3.2 % YTD. Similarly, when looking at month-to-month data, there is a decrease of 8.6 %. Shipments from China, the main supplier of this commodity-chum-decreased by 4.0 % YTD and totaling 52.4 million pounds.
*President of Urner Barry