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Fish Market Forecast of January and February 2009: Chilean Coho Salmon and Trout Prices May Plummet

December 11, 2008

Uoichi released the fish market forecast for the period of January to February 2009. The main fresh items go as follow:

Snow crab: both domestic and Russian snow crab will move in the same manner as the previous year; however there is a concern that he Russian snow crab catch may fall sharply due to drift ice encroaching on fishing grounds.

Oyster: stable availability may lead to slightly higher quantities of oysters in the market than last year. The prices will stay about the same as the previous year.

Fresh Tuna: despite expected arrivals of domestic and Mediterranean cultured bluefin tuna, it is projected that the total amount of bluefin tuna will be low. Indonesia and Taiwan will be the main origins of yellowfin tuna, and are expected to supply fewer amounts of the tuna to the market.

Frozen Tuna: it is expected that less bluefin and Southern bluefin tuna will arrive in the market. As for yellowfin and big-eyed tuna, known for their red meat, they may not be available in large quantities; arrival of the fish is estimated to be low, as well.

Dried-salted Fish: the market rates of salted sockeye salmon in large sizes will keep a continuation pattern; in contrast, smaller sizes will hold a bull market; Russian offshore fisheries virtually catch no smaller sizes of salmon. Salmon from Russia will maintain the similar rates to last year.

Spicy cod roe/salted cod roe: demand of a more reasonable type of cod roe with a broken sack is growing. There is a sufficient amount of stock of both products and raw materials. The going rates are predicted to be lower than the previous month.

Off-Season of Farmed Black Tiger and Abundant Wild Shrimp

Frozen Salmon/Trout: with lower local offer prices and the lessened importer costs as a result of the appreciation of the yen, the prices of Chilean cultured coho salmon in the domestic market are expected to move downward. This trend will partially originate from the weakening domestic market due to a worldwide financial downturn. Chilean farmed trout will probably face the same fate as coho salmon; however with discontinued shipment to Russia and stronger selling pressure to Japan, the prices of Chilean farmed trout will come down more quickly than its counterpart, Chilean farmed coho salmon. Low supply of wild sockeye salmon will keep the prices high.

Frozen Shrimp: with Vietnam and India, farmed black tiger shrimp producing countries, having a pre-harvest season, arrival of the shrimp in large quantities will not be until spring. However, fewer purchasing amounts of the shrimp by the United States and the EU will cause the December market rates to stick around. As for wild shrimp, there are abundant amounts of on-boat frozen banana shrimp, land-chilled kind, as well as large Mexican BR shrimp, used for high-rank sushi.

Frozen octopus: It is expected that removal of a ban on winter octopus fishing will be postponed until early next year in Morocco, which discontinued fishing in October. Mauritania is scheduled to resume fishing on December 16, 2008. Mauritanian land-frozen octopus will eventually come to a total sum of 5,000 tons. Japan will end up waiting until January or later for arrival of the on-boat frozen products because of delay in scheduled shipment. With the reflected prices of the land-frozen products precedingly shipped out, the products prices in the Japanese market were slightly reduced. There has been price confusion, resulting from effort to clear out inventory by processors in the Kanto area for expected demand towards the end of the year.

Frozen squid: it is projected that the squid prices will remain flat after the beginning of the new year; however, depending on the amount of incoming fresh squid, the price fluctuation is expected.

Despite Decline in King Crab, Prices Will Remain Same

Frozen king crab: a decline in the harvest amount and issues stemmed from stricter regulations will cause a plummet in the arriving amount. The prices are expected to move in the same way as they did a year ago.

Frozen snow crab: Alaskan snow crab fishing has begun and products from Canada and Russia after April are expected. The prices will fluctuate.

BBQ eel: as for the domestic products, the soaring prices of glass eel caused by a poor catch and the higher costs of fish feed and heavy oil will keep the live eel market prices high. A reduction of the prices cannot be anticipated; the prices will move at \6,000 per kg. The import amount of Chinese BBQ eel for the next period is predicted to be 10,000 to 15,000 tons, recording the all time low. Its market prices will continue to shift in the same manner; however lack of raw materials after the Chinese New Year and on may generate a price hike. In Japan, the low carry-over stock amount of 5,000 to 7,000 tons may contribute to a rise in the prices. The BBQ eel market has been facing a slump; furthermore, more than half of the carry-over stock will expire by March 2009, causing a slaughter sale.

The original articles was published on December 11, 2008 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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