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Fish & seafood outlook

Fish & seafood outlook

What's happening in the market in May

MAY AT A GLANCE:

- Salmon - high prices will continue post-Easter as we are heading towards public holidays in Norway and lower harvests at the beginning of May.

- Fresh Cod & Haddock - will remain challenging throughout the month, the lack of raw material also have an effect on coated Haddock.

- Gilt Head Bream – prices are likely to continue to climb but should drop back in June/July when the new season starts.

- Basa (Pangasius) – the highest spike in price in the last decade, high prices expected to hold until the second half of 2017.

- Chilled Swimming Crab - shortage of raw material and continued strong US demand for product from Asia puts a significant pressure on prices.

- Skipper’s Catch recommends: rod & line Sea Bass, Black Bream, Plaice.

CURRENCY: After a period of recovery, with GBP trading at around $1.25, the expectation is that it may soar to six-month high following the recent general election call and is likely to reach $1.30. Against the Norwegian Kroner, GBP has been reasonably stable in April within the 10.7-10.8NOK range, whilst against the Euro it is trading around €1.18. However, the recent news saw it rising towards 11NOK and €1.2 respectively.

SALMON

- Pricing increased as anticipated in the run up to Easter although not to the levels expected.

- Increased supply vs. 2016 and lower demand due to comparatively high costs are viewed as the main causes.

- Short weeks due to public holidays in Norway at the beginning of May mean that harvests will be lower and so will keep costs high, but there could besome easing during the second half of the month.

- Norwegian Kroner (NOK) weakened vs. GBP during April but continues to trade significantly stronger than in the same period last year.

GILT HEAD BREAM

- Sea Bream prices are likely to continue to climb until the new season starts in June/July.

FRESH WHITE FISH

- Haddock and Codling will remain challenging in May but are expected to improve as the North Sea Haddock spawning season finishes and the weather improves in the major fishing areas.

- Quality and landings for both species should thus improve as the month goes on.

LOBSTER

- We will continue to see prices higher than last year on Canadian Lobsters due to the market being unpredictable and prices being forced up to reduce demand.

- New fishing areas in Canada have only opened on the 20th April.

- Natives have started to appear in April but prices are always high at the beginning of the season.

FLATFISH

- We expect reasonable catches of 8-12oz and 12-16oz sizes, while larger grades may fetch higher prices due to limited availability and growing demand.

- Plaice will be back in good condition after the spawning season with good quotas for boats to target them for the rest of the year. We will have all grades available from the starter portion 8-12oz up to 2lb+ fish.

EXOTICS

- The annual fishing ban on the East coast of India, to help fish stocks to recover, have started mid April and will continue until June. This will affect most exotics including Mahi Mahi, Snappers, Red Mullet and Grouper; as a result we will be solely reliant on the West Coast so patchy supply is expected.

- There will be, however, a solid supply of Tuna and Swordfish available from Sri Lanka, India and the Seychelles.

BASA (PANGASIUS)

- Basa price hikes are the most rapid in the past 10 years.

- There is a significant shortage of fingerlings (juvenile fish) in Vietnam following depressed prices in 2016 causing uncertainty amongst farmers about stocking ponds for the new season.

- Drought in the Mekong Delta last year also had an impact on farmers willingness to restock.

- The expectation is for prices to remain at high levels until supply catches up with demand in the second half of 2017.

BLUE SWIMMING CRAB

- Crab prices have been recently under a lot of pressure.

- Shortage of raw material due to lack of production from Thailand (increased domestic consumption) and the Philippines (unpredictable weather) puts pressure on Indonesia.

- Continued strong US demand for product from Asia currently significantly exceeds supply despite year on year price increases.

COATED HADDOCK

- Haddock raw material continues to increase (it has moved up circa 22% since the beginning of the year) and is becoming difficult for processors to buy.

- The main reason for lack of supply is poor catching at the back end of 2016 and going into 2017.

- Raw material prices will continue to rise as demand for the species remains strong.

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