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January Hokkaido Surimi Production Amounts to 783 Tons

February 28, 2011

The National Surimi Manufacturers Association, consisting of seven plants, released the aggregate of surimi production for the month of January in Hokkaido, which was 783 tons, as opposed to 969 tons in the corresponding month last year. 9,350 tons of pollack were caught in December; the total of the whole last year was 133,071 tons. Arabesque greenlings, Hokke, were 950 tons in December and the total harvest amount was 53,073 tons from January thru December last year.

With regard to surimi and pollack imports, based on the numbers from January to December last year, pollack surimi came to 68,260 tons (58,816 tons in the previous year); Nemipterus virgatus 51,110 tons (43,920 tons); horse mackerel zero (260 tons); barracuda and sea bream 1,756 tons (1,461 tons); other fish meat 111,494 tons (97,236 tons); and frozen pollack 1,186 tons (1,352 tons).

Inventories of frozen surimi as of late December were 68,200 tons and a breakdown of the numbers go as follows: pollack 34,330 tons at 104 percent over the previous year, and others 33,870 tons, 121 percent of the last year.

The original article was published on February 28, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Farmed Sanriku Coho Salmon: This Season's Projected Output is 15,700 Tons

February 23, 2011

Harvesting of farmed Sanriku coho salmon will commence late next month in Miyagi Prefecture. Even though one farming business entry shut down, the total number of released fries was about the same as last year, at 1,428 tons. Providing a growth ratio of 11 times; the projected output for this season is 7 percent more than last year at 15,700 tons.

The situation last year was that, due to lower water temperatures at the beginning of the season, fish growth delayed significantly, leading to the final production count of 14,750 tons, down 5 percent compared to the previous year. The growth ratio of the year was 10.2 times, the lowest in the past decade. The average unit price was \425 per kg (excl. taxes), remaining similar to the prior year. The average production value per business entity was \76.4 million, failing to reach the record of \83.8 million in 2009, yet, not too shabby.

This season has seen "steady growth of fish" (according to a stakeholder); nonetheless, those in this business are concerned about the water temperatures in March, which were the main factors resulting in the paucity of fish growth last year.

The original article was published on February 23, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Leading Tsukiji Wholesaler, Chuo Gyorui President Otaki Speaks

February 21, 2011

The 14th National Fresh Produce Distribution Forum sponsored by Personal Joho System took place in Tokyo. Chuo Gyorui President Yoshihiko Otaki gave a speech "Chuo Gyorui's Info and Business Strategies," which delineated functions needed for the new Tsukiji Market and a course of action towards the relocation. He additionally touched on a new system, collaborative work of Chuo Gyorui and Daito Gyorui, for the new market.

"The reason for the collaborative development is to reduce the research and development costs. Our goal is standardization through a flexible, open system. We aim to create a system useful for the entire Tsukiji Market," he said.

President Otaki described the following four concepts in relation to the new market: 1) the market in a harmonious balance between function, scale, and cost; 2) the market with streamlining ability through revamped distribution functions and with capability of cost reductions; 3) the market resilient to future changes; and 4) the market that guarantees product sanitary management and safety. He further said, "Because the market is to move to a new location, it is expected of it to be a place where healthy operations will take place. From this point on, its usage charge will be the focal point of the debate."

Use of Smart Phones

Mr. Otaki went on to explain the overview of the Toyosu Market. Refering to its operations, he said, "Not to mention efficient logistics inside the market, cooperative operations of freight and in-house delivery, an integrated information system, and cooperation with the parking management system of the Tokyo Metro Government among others will be necessary. It is imperative that we will manage the cooperative relation between logistics and the information system."
"What we are paying attention to is how smart phones will find their place in the market and how they will be harnessed for daily tasks at the market. I believe that will be a key point"

Picture 1: President Otaki

The original article was published on February 21, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

Uoriki's Q3 Statement: Operating Profit Tumbles 57%

February 18, 2011

Cost Increase Due to New Stores and New Company

Uoriki posted its quarterly report (April to December 2010) for the fiscal year ending March 2011. Its sales ended in \18.707 billion, down 1.1 percent on a year on year basis. The initial costs of opening new stores and setting up a new company held its operating profit to \266 million, a tumble of 56.6 percent compared with the previous year. Other than expenses for sales and marketing, the company posted \187 million on exchange-rate and derivative losses. Ordinary earnings came to \160 million, a 71 percent drop; and the quarterly net income drastically slumped 66 percent to \99 million.

The company's retail operations registered \14.6 billion in sales, which was \152.5 billion last year, and operating proceeds of \500 million that was \819 million a year ago.

The wholesaling division landed new clients and sealed deals of fish roe sales with manufacturers, finishing in sales of \3.39 billion (\2.8 billion last year), a 5.7 percent leap, and operating profit of \5 million (18 million).

The company's subsidiary in the US, Uoriki Fresh Inc. exhibited favorable performance and cited \1.016 billion in sales ($11.88 million) and operating earnings \6 million. UK Trading established last year further enriched its role in procuring products within the group; nevertheless, its sales targeted outside of the group resulted in \275 million. New establishment and initial costs were so large that an operating loss of \19 million was recorded.

The original article was published on February 18, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

OUG Holdings Q3: Operating Profit Leaps 43%

February 15, 2011

The OUG Holdings posted its consolidated third quarter statement. Increased transaction volumes in the division of seafood logistics contributed to sales of \248.1 billion, a rise of 0.8 percent YOY. Operating profit increased 43 percent to \1.68 billion as a result of aquaculture business' strong performance. Ordinary earnings came to \2.039 billion, up 38.9 percent, an outstanding rise. After posting an extraordinary gain from the sale of investment account securities, of \318 million, the Holdings quarterly net income was up 20.9 percent to \1.354 billion.

Seafood logistics within the market benefitted from the swollen transaction volumes, leading to \150 billion in sales; the segment gain was \863 million. The segment's sales generated outside of the market ended in \90.3 billion and its profit recorded \467 million. The combined sales of the segment amounted to \240.3 billion with a profit of \1.33 billion, which was \1.14 billion a year earlier.

Farming operations raked in \3.227 billion in sales and the segment cited \471 million in profit that was \240 million last year, thanks to a jump in sales volumes. Processed food business registered sales in the amount of \1.29 billion. Furthermore, this segment posted a profit loss of \200 million, which was a loss of \226 million in the previous year, due mainly to skyrocketing costs of raw materials.

The Holdings aims for sales \320 billion, operating earnings \1.5 billion, ordinary gain \1.8 billion, and net income \1.3 billion for the entire fiscal year.

The original article was published on February 15, 2011 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka

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