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W6: Weekly Seafood Update

Updated Feb 14, 2023
Tridge's global market analysts and country representatives take a deep dive into what happened during W6 in the global seafood landscape. In summary, cheap Russian crabs have led Japanese consumers to prefer them to Canadian crabs hence the reduction of Canadian supplies to Japan from 9K MT to 3K MT in 2022. This has led Russian crab export value to more than double. Norwegian salmon export value to the US reached USD 34.06M in January 2023, up 59% compared to the same period in 2022. The increasing demand in the UK for value-added salmon products, such as salmon fish balls and burgers, has led to a shortage of by-products such as salmon bellies and heads. Lastly, China has become the main destination for Ecuadorian shrimp where it accounted for 56% at the end of 2022.


Russia: Russia Ousted 2/3 of the Canadian Crab From the Japanese Market (Feb 8)

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports that Japanese importers are pursuing their own benefit by buying cheap Russian crab. Due to sanctions pressure, the sales market for Russian fishermen has shrunk, so they are reducing the cost of seafood in the hope of selling more. Previously, shipments from Canada amounted to 50% of all opilio snow crab imported into Japan, MP Clifford Small said. He stressed that about 30% of the crab caught last year is now stored in warehouses. It must be sold before the start of the new season. The chairman of the Association of Seafood Producers of Canada, Paul Grant, cited the following figures: Canada has supplied Japan with 9K MT of crab annually over the past 10 years, and in 2022, the volumes have decreased to 3K MT. Canadian producers could lose more than USD 100M, which will negatively affect the 2023 fishing campaign. 

Russia: Plans to Receive New Fishing Ports in Exchange for Crab (Feb 9)

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Agency for Fishery have published a draft resolution that expands the requirements for participation in crab auctions under investment quotas. According to the document, crab fishers are offered to invest not only in the construction of the fleet, but also in the creation of port infrastructure. If the decision is adopted without changes, the winners of crab auctions will either have to order ships or create infrastructure facilities related to ports and railways. Among the technical characteristics are the presence of a refrigeration room for 25K MT, a complex for overexposure of living water resources with a volume of at least 200MT and a container platform for 400 containers. The document also stipulates the requirement to start the implementation of an investment project under crab quotas: it must begin no later than a year from the date of conclusion of the share agreement.

Russia: The Value of Crab Exports Has More Than Doubled (Feb 9)

The value of crab exports has more than doubled. Their share in the total value of Russian fish exports to China increased from 14% in 2019 to 26% in 2022. Crab prices in 2022 were lower than in 2021. But was compensated for this drawdown by increasing the volume of deliveries by 41%, says Zverev. Due to sanctions, significant markets for Russian crab were closed, the USA and Europe, which led to a decrease in export earnings. But part of the product, boiled-frozen crab, which fishermen traditionally supplied in the largest volume to the US and the EU, was redirected to the Chinese market.

Indonesia: Price of Blue Swimming Crab Increased by 5% From January 2023 (Feb 9)

The blue swimming crab producers in Lampung and Sulawesi, Indonesia started to raise the selling price by around 5% as of January 2023 due to the seasonal decline in supply and an increase in the price of fresh or frozen crab from fishermen. However, producers are still holding back imports of frozen cooked crab because the price difference with imported raw materials is not significant enough to justify the hassles of the import procedures for this commodity. While several producers have started to prepare to apply for import permits to anticipate falling supply and high prices from the local supply in April and May 2023.


Canada: Salmon Farmers Need More Collaboration Not Conflict (Feb 7)

Salmon is now the most popular seafood choice for North Americans, and much of it is aquaculture-sourced. It is also one of the lowest carbon-footprint proteins available. Salmon farmers have been listed in major international sustainability indexes as the most sustainable large-scale animal protein producers in the world. One independent Index, the British-based Coller FAIRR index, in November of 2022 listed salmon farmers as seven of the top 10 most sustainable, with two companies operating in Canada rated as first and second in the world. But while the rest of the world is increasing aquaculture production, for the past 20 years, campaigners with varying self-interests have been determined to shut down aquaculture in Canada. Some campaigners operate on zero-sum outcome approaches: demand extreme and idealistic performance, such as no impact whatsoever to the environment, which is impossible in human affairs, or else shut down the economic activity.

Russia: Growth in the Cost of Salmon Is Associated With the Price Situation in the Market (Feb 9)

The growth in the cost of salmon is associated with the price situation in the market and an increase in supplies in physical terms, German Zverev explains. Last year, there was increased activity on the global market, which, combined with low supply against the backdrop of a decrease in the supply of aquaculture salmon, led to record high world prices for salmon. In addition, frozen salmon exports in volume terms showed strong growth given the low base of 2021. But so far it also lags behind pre-pandemic indicators.

UK: Rising Demand for Value-Added Salmon Products Leads to Shortage of By-Products (Feb 6)

The increasing demand in the UK for value-added salmon products, such as salmon fish balls and burgers, has led to a shortage of by-products such as salmon bellies and heads. This shift in demand away from traditional by-products has created pressure on the supply chain, causing prices for these less popular cuts to rise. The high demand for value-added products is likely driven by consumers looking for convenient and innovative seafood options.

Norway: Salmon Exports to the USA Have Increased by 59% (Feb 6)

While the value of other seafood species to the US, such as cod and haddock, has decreased, salmon exports have increased sharply. In January, the value of salmon exports increased by 59%, representing USD 34.06M (NOK 344M), compared to the same month last year. The USA thus became Norway’s most significant salmon market and the market where the value of salmon exports increased the most in the first month of the year.


Ecuador: In 2022, More Than Half of the Ecuadorian Shrimp Was Sold to China (Feb 10)

The markets for Ecuadorian shrimp had changed in 2022. At the end of the year, China became the main destination for Ecuadorian products, according to data from the National Chamber of Aquaculture (CNA). In 2021, 46% of the local shrimp was sold to the Asian market. At the end of 2022, shrimp to china rose to 56% while other markets have seen their participation fall. For example, the United States went from 22% to 18%, Europe from 23% to 18% and the rest of America from 3% to 2%. In total, shrimp reached USD 6.653B in 2022 for exports, a figure that represents an increase of 31% compared to 2021. Although the growth of shrimp sales to the world grew in double digits in 2022, the figures show a slowdown compared to 2021, a period in which it grew 39.2%, according to data from the Central Bank of Ecuador (BCE). Despite the expansion in the growth of exports, various sectors, including the shrimp industry, have mentioned that "sale is not income."

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