US - Many West Coast vendors speculate strong inventories of Headed and Gutted sockeye salmon heading into the new year, reports Kyla Ganton in the Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market Insight.
We have heard of 6-9s available in West coast storages, but high price points have forced most processors to make do with smaller sizes in lieu of pricing.
Pricing on 4-6s has been steady for several months, peaking at $3.80/lb in November in Seattle, whereas 6-9s were anywhere between $4.30 and $4.50 per pound.
Last year this time we saw an abundance of salmon on the market, as processors typically hold off to see when new inventory surfaces.
2016 was a great year for Sockeye in Bristol Bay, 37.3 million fish were harvested, marking the 2nd highest output in the past 20 years.
2017's forecast shows 41.5 million sockeye expected.
As for Chum salmon inventories, there are very limited offers as of the past couple weeks, indicative of small holdings.
Chum harvests in Bristol Bay in 2016 were strong at 1.04 million fish averaging 6.0 lbs, and also in Prince William Sound at 3.43 million fish.
We saw Chum Salmon move quickly in 2016, with sharp pricing on 1-3lb IVP Chum fillets lingering between $4.85 and $5.00 per pound in Seattle.
Pink Salmon and Coho Salmon inventories are all but depleted.
We saw dismal Pink salmon numbers in Alaska in 2016, less than 40,000 fish were harvested in all regions.
Fishing was even poor in Russia, as reported in Fish News dot RU last week.
H&G IQF 3-5lb Pink Salmon were available in Vancouver for $1.85/lb, but fillet offers are yet to be found.
Buyers should keep an eye out in the coming weeks as Salmon inventories come out of the woodworks while fishermen focus on more profitable species like Halibut.