Sockeye inventories are all but bare leading into the new season in Alaska and British Columbia, which is creating high prices, according to this week’s Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market Insight.
Fillet pricing has been steady since last summer, ranging between $6.65 and $6.85 per pound in Vancouver. However, any remaining fillet inventories, if you can find them, are approaching $7.00 per pound.
Many Alaskan vendors put out more fillets last season than typically expected – as reflected by the abundance of trim offers, and lack of H&G offers. Trim offers ranged from the high $2s to the low-to-mid $3s in the middle of March. 4-6lb #2s are around $3.50 in Seattle, with #1 Blushes about 25 cents higher.
52.9 million sockeye were harvested in Alaska last year, with an average fish size of 5.4 pounds - compare that to 54 million fish in 2015 at an average size of 5.2 pounds. 2017 projections for Alaska show sockeye harvests around 40.9 million fish, so we anticipate the price to rise with minimum supply early on in the season.
In the world markets, Russian sockeye will be a factor this year. US imports of frozen sockeye salmon in 2016 from Russia were the strongest in the past 8 years. At 3.65 million pounds last year, there was a positive trade balance between the two nations and a 4.5 percent production surplus, according to our contact at the Federal Agency of Fisheries of the Russian Federation to the USA.
Average costs per pound on Russian sockeye rose last year too to $3.21 per pound. Expect to see similar trends in 2017 as imports this year put import pricing on frozen sockeye at $3.32 per pound.
Given the high pricing we have seen over the past months, expect to see pretty firm sockeye pricing moving into the next season, especially as we do anticipate processors to continue to fillet more than H&G.
Finally, our TradexLIVE offer of the week is for IVP Sinbad Platinum Sockeye Salmon Fillets. We have 2,200 pounds of 1-3LB, Trim C fillets in Vancouver at a price of $6.95 / LB USD.
To see footage of the report click here.