US - Prices of raw materials are slowly climbing, as Chinese processing plants take orders of Yellowfin Sole and Flounder before Chinese New Year, reports Kyla Ganton in the Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market insight.
Currently, nomenclature of Flounder encompasses Yellowfin Sole, Rocksole, and Flathead Sole in North America.
Both European and North American demand on Flounder is strong right now, contributing to rising prices on the raw materials as procurement efforts increase.
Most factories are fully booked before the Chinese New Year closures, on orders of Pollock, Cod, and Salmon.
For Flounder, the peak ordering season is between now and January.
Production space is booked until the middle of October, so opportunities for volume purchases exist.
Skinless, boneless 3-5oz Yellowfin fillets range between $2.25 - $2.35 per pound in the Boston area right now.
Prices are up about 10 cents per pound from last year because the raw material price has increased by about $100 per metric tonne.
In the Asian market, the fillet market is very poor - sharp buyers prefer inexpensive items like Whole Round yellowfin sole or Flounder.
Another factor for strengthened Flounder demand in North America is the shortage of Argentine Flounder this season.
Only 3.2 thousand metric tonnes have been caught as of the beginning on July, down about 10 percent from last year's catch this time of year.
Domestically, decent inventories of the Argentine Flounder are available on small sizes like the 1-3, 3-5, and 5-8oz.
However, anything bigger than a 8-10oz are hit and miss to supply.
Hardly any domestic production is coming into the country right now, with the majority of finished goods destined for the Carolina's and Virginia.