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Fish & seafood outlook

Fish & seafood outlook

What's happening in the market in August

AUGUST AT A GLANCE:

  • It’s a fantastic time of year to be buying fish from the British coastline with Grey Mullet, Lobsters, Mackerel, Sardines, Pollack, Megrim, Plaice and MSC Cockles & Clams all being in great supply.
  • Salmon - Sea lice issues in Norway are pressuring farms into harvesting Salmon early, which will lead to supply shortage later in the year.
  • Cod & Haddock – With holiday season in full swing in Norway and Iceland, prices are expected to increase slightly through August.
  • Fresh & frozen Mussels – Unprecedented toxin levels and algae issues are putting pressure on supplies.
  • FAS Haddock - Supply shortages are due to boats not producing enough fillets and lower volumes of Haddock being landed.
  • Crayfish – High demand in the Chinese market is pushing prices up.

CURRENCY: There are concerns that there could be a ‘no deal’ outcome of the current negotiations between the UK and EU. In this scenario, it’s likely the British currency would be impacted more than anticipated, even heading back towards its post-referendum lows over the next few months, according to some analysts. The Pound to Euro exchange rate currently trades at around 1.12, having been in the area of 1.14 in July. The Pound to US Dollar exchange rate has also fallen from last month’s highs of 1.34 and is now trading at around 1.31. Against the Norwegian Kroner, GBP is currently seen at around 10.72 NOK. (as of 24th July 2018).

FRESH SALMON

- Harvested volumes have accelerated in May, June and July, and are expected to continue throughout August.

- Increasing issues with sea lice in Western Norway, caused by warmer water temperatures, has led to farms harvesting early and they are now taking out supply which was planned for September to November. This means smaller sized Salmon are being harvested with prices likely to climb again in autumn.

FRESH FARMED SEA BASS & BREAM

- Good availability on both species continues on all grades except larger Bass over 1.5kg, which will not be back in stock until September.

- Pricing is currently very competitive with more producers sending stock into the UK which helps keep prices stable.

FRESH COD & HADDOCK

- Slight increases expected in August due to holiday season being in full swing in Norway and Iceland.

- We expect more significant increases as we get into September and October as fishing becomes more difficult in windier conditions.

FRESH FLATFISH

- Lower landings and availability on Dover Sole, Lemon Sole (still only smaller grades being caught) and Turbot are keeping prices high.

- Traditionally in the summer season, Megrim will be available in abundance but we will see most of the fish being exported to Europe, which will keep UK prices up.

FRESH EXOTICS

- The West Coast fishing ban in India will be lifted by early August so we should see more Indian fish on the market.

- However monsoon season continues through into early September restricting availability somewhat. Hopefully we will see prices easing as we go into autumn.

OTHER FRESH FISH & SEAFOOD

- Mussels – Unprecedented toxin levels and algae issues, caused by higher water temperatures, are putting pressure on supplies.

- Ray – With the Marine Conservation Society re-rating some of the species as ‘avoid’, prices have risen on other targeted species.

- Scallops - Landings are lower than expected for this time of year.

- Squid - Very little being landed, which affects price.

FROZEN FAS HADDOCK

- We are now experiencing FAS fillets supply shortages mainly because it is more profitable for vessels to sell any caught Haddock as headed & gutted fish rather than fillets.

- In addition, vessels haven't been aggressive enough in catching fish as there is less to go after due to a quota reduction of 13%.

- The expectation is to see more FAS fillets being produced over the summer months and hitting the market mid to late September.

FROZEN PLAICE

- The weakness of the Pound and shortening of the catch season due to the unpredictable weather have both contributed to the rising cost of raw material.

- While the quota remains stable, UK demand is ever-growing.

FROZEN BASA

- Reduced production caused by low prices last year means that some farmers lost money and were reluctant to invest in new production, especially as a shortage of fingerlings meant a high cost of seeding ponds.

- Prices have also been firming due to continued high demand from China who are willing to pay higher prices.

FROZEN & CHILLED CRAYFISH

- China’s high demand continues with the majority of Crayfish being sold on the Chinese domestic market.

- As a result, European importers are facing significantly lower volumes available and inflated prices.

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