Fish Radio

Salmon markets looking up through next year

May 17, 2016

Global currencies are more favorable for US salmon sales Credit:

Global currencies are more favorable for US salmon sales

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Salmon prices are expected to improve this summer and next. More after this –

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“Based on current market conditions and harvest expectations, it appears probable that salmon prices will begin improving in 2016 and there is an excellent chance total ex-vessel, or dockside, value will rebound in 2017.”

That’s a main takeaway from new reports by the Salmon Market Information Service  released last week by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

Prices to Alaska fishermen fell more than 40 percent between over the past two years, while at the same time they produced the biggest salmon harvests on record.  The fishery was hit by a perfect storm of salmon backlogs, global markets awash with farmed fish and depressed currencies.

 As we approached the season last year the dollar was getting stronger against our major buyers and competitors. And when the dollar gets stronger and more valuable, that makes our salmon and all other exports more expensive to foreign buyers and it makes the competing imports less expensive.

Andy Wink is a fisheries economist with the McDowell Group, which compiled the ASMI salmon market reports. Now that trend has turned around –

The last six months we’ve seen that trend reverse and seen the dollar weaken against the Canadian dollar, the Euro a couple points, and the Yen – the yen has strengthened about 13 percent   year over year. So that’s good news. That will make our products less expensive to Europeans and Japanese and those are key Alaska salmon markets. 

China also is a prime market for Alaska seafood, but Wink says that currency – the Yuan – is tied to the US dollar value.  Most of Alaska’s seafood that goes to China is reprocessed into portions or other products and sent to other countries.

This year Alaska processors are expected to concentrate more on fresh and frozen salmon production since the canned pink and sockeye markets are still moving slowly. Overall, the season is poised to be much brighter this year.

Things are looking a bit better supply wise, currency wise, from the way the first wholesale market has been going  processors probably have been doing a bit better cash flow wise –  It’s important for people to realize how good markets were in 2013 and 14 and keep expectations realistic.  

The user friendly ASMI salmon reports  include market news and analysis, a forecast summary and Alaska seafood exports.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.