Fish Radio

Sockeye sales – early market peek

July 28, 2015

Bristol Bay sockeye returns Credit:

Bristol Bay sockeye returns

This is Fish Radio. I ‘m Laine Welch — Some first market reports for sockeye salmon. That’s up after this –

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Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon catch has topped 35 million fish and most fishermen are wrapping up their season. Now that Alaska buyers have an idea of who’s got what and what product forms the fish might take, some market reports are finally starting to trickle in.

Bristol Bay sockeye is primarily made into frozen, headed and gutted (H&G) and canned products.

Frozen production should reach 20,000 tons and possibly 30,000 tons, according to Japan’s top seafood market watcher,

With an average sockeye size of just five pounds across all of Bristol Bay, fully half of the H&G frozen fish will be in the two to four pound range, a size that usually makes up about 32 percent of the frozen pack.

Sellers are trying to increase purchases of the smaller fish to the ‘refresh’, or defrosted, U.S. market.  Minato-Tsukij said they are making offers of  $2.40-2.45/lbs shipped to Seattle, but “the price is not settled yet.”

The major market for the small fish will Japan, although price negotiations are being ‘delayed as long as possible’ to see how the market plays out.

Larger sized frozen fish are reportedly destined for Europe, where demand is said to be strong despite an unfavorable exchange rate.   The report said local processors are targeting sales at $4.40 to $4.50 a pound, fish on board to Europe. That compares to $4 a pound earlier in the season.

Sockeye salmon comprise only about five percent of global salmon production, and 13 to 20 percent of wild salmon harvests.  Since 1980, Bristol Bay has produced 43 percent of the world’s annual  sockeye harvest.

Find links to sockeye market info and more at our website –

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