TheFishSite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the fish industry

News

High halibut volumes in Alaska likely to impact prices

24 April 2017

Alaska has had two weeks of strong halibut landings, prior to the opening of the main halibut season in Russia, according to this week’s Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market Insight.

Just over 1.5 million pounds were landed in Alaska during the past two weeks, a similar level to the same time period in 2016. Fresh prices have been strong as of late, but Tradex sees room for a potential drop due to the recent spike in supply. Frozen inventories on 2016 H&G and fletches are still available, with prices on fletches coming down a bit since the fall.

1-3lb IQF halibut fletches were in the mid-$14 range last week, coming down from the mid-to-high $15 range in November and December.

The Russian halibut fishery - processed in China and the Ukraine - typically caters to a different market than once frozen product processed in North America.

Russian halibut is harvested as bycatch at the moment, before the quota system begins in mid-May. The Russian quota is slightly less than 5,000 metric tonnes, with the majority allocated to the Western Bering Sea - this is about half of the Total Allowable Catch for Alaska halibut. The quota has been stable for many years, and pricing remains strong, as raw materials have increased year-to-year.

Tradex spoke to Lou at Chang International, a regular importer of Russian halibut products, to elaborate on the state of Russian raw materials.

With raw materials strengthened by about a dollar per kilogram year-to-year, Lou confirmed pricing on Russian halibut fletches processed in China to be between $13 and $15 per pound.

Halibut fletches produced in the Ukraine are on the same level, at $13.25/lb in Vancouver for chem-free IQF twice frozen fletches. Tradex has seen price stability on twice frozen halibut throughout the last six months, a variance of about 50 or 75 cents per pound from single frozen fletches.

Twice frozen inventories will continue to be sourced from Russian bycatch until mid-June - keep an eye out, advises Tradex, as prices could increase another 50 cents as supply has been short.

To see the report, click here.



Our Sponsors

Partners



Sustainable Aquaculture Modular Courses AVAILABLE NOW - University of St Andrews

Seasonal Picks

Know Your Freshwater Fishes - 5m Books.com

Aquacullture Webinars from TheFishSite - Sign Up Now