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Fish & seafood outlook

Fish & seafood outlook

What's happening in the market in August

AUGUST AT A GLANCE:

  • Great news! We fixed our prices on the following fresh products until the end of August: Welsh & Scottish Mussels, Devon & Cromer Crab, Native Oysters, Rainbow Trout.
  • Salmon – Reduced demand from Europe and the end of the holiday period in Norway could mean that prices stabilise during August.
  • Cod & Haddock – Price increases are driven by reaching the maximum Cod quota and warmer water temperatures causing Haddock flesh quality issues.
  • Farmed Bass & Bream – Bass stocks are short as the end of the season approaches. New Bream season has only just started and the availability onlarger grades is becoming tight.
  • Exotics – Supplies improving gradually, all weather dependant as monsoon season continues.
  • Best of Skipper’s Catch: Sardines, Mackerel, Grey Mullet, Scallops.

CURRENCY: Despite political uncertainty regarding Brexit negotiations with the EU, the Pound has recovered from its losses after Britain's election in June and has recently hit its highest point against the US Dollar in 10 months, rising as high as $1.3088. The Pound also continues to recover against the Euro in light of the European Central Bank’s policy of keeping interest rates at record-lows, and is now trading around €1.14. Against the Norwegian Kroner, it is trading at just over 10.70 NOK.  (as of 14th July 2017)

FRESH SALMON

- Prices normally stay high during July and into August as the Norwegian holiday period creates a supply shortage.

- Prices historically fall in August as European holidays reduce demand whilst Norway returns to full production. This year though it is difficult to forecast when and if this dip will happen given the current unique market conditions.

FRESH FARMED SEA BASS & GILT HEAD BREAM

- Fish growth rate is improving however, compared to last year, sea temperatures are still lower than usual at this time of year.

- Bass prices are expected to increase steadily in the following weeks until the end of September when the new season starts; there is less and less fish available and a major farm in Turkey has already exhausted its stocks.

- Bream prices remain high due to shortages on larger grades from the current season pushing prices up. We should see new season fish availability gradually improve, starting with smaller grades, as they enter the market towards the end of the month. Prices should start ease back from September.

FRESH COD & HADDOCK

- August is usually a difficult month for Cod availability and prices as annual quotas near their end. We expect intermittent supply and high prices, especially of smaller size Codlings.

- Haddock availability in all sizes will be affected with prices set to increase for August. This is due to warmer water temperatures causing Haddock flesh to be too soft for processing.

- Customers are advised to switch to defrost or frozen options to ensure consistent supply and price.

- The lack of raw material will have an impact on processed products such as smoked Haddock or pre-cut pie mix.

FRESH EXOTICS

- The summer monsoon season continues to hamper fishing across the Indian Ocean. There will be fish available but prices are likely to be firm.

- The West Coast fishing ban in India will be lifted by early August so we should see more Indian fish on the market and there will also be supply coming from Sri Lanka, Oman and the Seychelles.

- Continued steady supply of Swordfish, with the majority of fish coming fromChile, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka and India.

OTHER FRESH FISH & SEAFOOD

- Monkfish – Prices may slightly increase on South Coast fish which is targeted by exporters due to European market demand for South Coast fish over its North Sea alternative, thanks to a firmer flesh and higher yield.

- Megrim – The summer season traditionally sees most Megrims being exported, especially to Spain. Favourable Euro exchange rates are also making exports more profitable.

- John Dory, Red Mullet and Turbot – Lack of landings around the British coastline is putting pressure on prices.

FROZEN WHITEFISH (BLOCK FROZEN COD)

- Block frozen Cod, which is used to produce fish fingers and portions, has been short in the market and costs have increased considerably due to:

  • producers investing more in improving their yields on graded fillets and loins, leading to less block being produced as the suppliers get a better return from selling the premium fish cuts,
  • low inventory at some processors who have had to pay much higher prices in order to secure stock.

 FROZEN WARMWATER PRAWNS

- Prices do not look as though they are softening.

- One in two containers from India into the EU are being tested, leading Indian authorities to test at source, which is adding costs leading to some producers withdrawing from the EU market.

- In Vietnam prices remain firm and there are talks of high Chinese purchases from Vietnam due to poor harvests in China caused by disease outbreak earlier this year.

- Price for Black Tiger type continues to increase over Vannamei with a difference of around 25%.

FROZEN NEW ZEALAND MUSSELS

- The US market, which is the main market for New Zealand Mussels, is pushing prices up as the product is able to achieve higher prices there.

- In addition, there is a knockoff effect of previous decline in the value of Pound Sterling.

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