Alaska/Pacific Coast

Lower fish tax revenue sharing anticipated
Combined shared tax revenues for Cordova in 2015 totaled $1,029,301
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – October 28, 2016
In 2015, the city of Cordova’s share of fisheries business taxes and fishery resource landing taxes collected by the state added up to $1,029,301.

West Coast Fisheries Hit Hard By Poor Ocean Conditions
OPB by Jes Burns – October 26, 2016
United States commercial fisheries are doing fine overall, but fishermen on the West Coast are hurting.  A 2015 annual report out Wednesday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a stark fall-off in the big seafood money-makers in the Pacific Northwest.

Cordova holds its own among top fisheries
Cordova Times by Margaret Bauman – October 28, 2016
Cordova ranked 10th in the nation in 2015 for seafood pounds landed and 13th nationally in the value of that catch, according to the latest federal fisheries report.


Surging Salmon Supply is What Pushed up Per Capita Consumption in the US
SEAFOODNEWS.COM by John Sackton and Michael Ramsingh – October 28, 2016
The per capita increase reported yesterday by NMFS from 14.6 to 15.5 lbs was largely driven by salmon, which saw a jump of 24%, from 2.3 to 2.9 lbs. per capita.

Only crab and pangasius were the other major species with an increase.

At the same time, salmon prices have risen sharply in the last six months, and the Urner Barry Salmon Price index rose in October, a time of normal seasonal decline, for only the second time in ten years.

Total Salmon imports and Monthly Import Price (SeafoodDatasearch/Urner Barry)

This week Rabobank released a research note on the Chilean industry, predicting a steady recovery from the production losses in 2017 and 2018, and declining prices by the second half of 2017.

Rabobank’s price chart shows that they do not expect a commodity slump to come about from the sharp rise in salmon prices.  Although this is the third peak price level of the last eight years, the bank is not expecting prices to fall as much has happened twice before.

Rabobank Price Forecast Based on Urner Barry Chilean Fillet Prices

The bank says  “global supply growth in 2017 and probably in 2018 will still be below long-term demand growth.”

Instead, they expect prices to peak this winter, and begin to decline in the second half of 2017.

“This is due to the recovering supply in both Chile and Norway and the effect of demand on the current record price levels. Nevertheless, we do not expect a price crash or a return to low price levels.”

Traders expected production losses from the algae bloom in Chile to keep farmed prices higher in the fourth quarter this year.  The industry lost about 100,000 metric tons of salmon from the bloom, which was about 20 percent of its total forecasted output for the year.  Chilean salmon imports to the US market fell 15 percent in August and are about even for the year so far.  Rabobank expects relatively flat production in 2017, and a significant increase in 2018 and beyond to levels similar to before the algae bloom.

Rabobank / Kontali estimate of Chilean production through 2019

However, taking all sources of salmon, including from Canada and Norway, total US imports are down 3.5%, and are likely fall further behind 2015’s volumes as the year progresses.

The lack of supply increases, along with continued strong demand will push prices up in the short term.

The reason Rabobank does not expect a full commodity cycle crash is that in their view, Chile has returned to profitability and this will prevent panic selling in the US market.

“The profitable state of Chilean farmers will prevent any panic selling to service debt or pay for feed costs—something we witnessed in 2015,” Rabobank said. “The Chilean salmon industry is increasing its marketing efforts in key markets such as the US, which should, in the medium term, support demand and consequently prices. The industry is also increasing marketing efforts and cooperation in growing markets, especially China, where Norway faces increasing supply challenges. Finally, we expect that Brazil—a key and very profitable market for Chilean salmon farmers—has bottomed out in 2016. From 2017, demand from Brazil will start to gradually improve, although it is unlikely it will become the growth engine we saw in the years before the Brazilian crisis.”

Given this outlook, we have likely seen the end of the increases in per capita salmon consumption for now in the US, and flat consumption and increases in supply should begin to work to moderate prices in 2017.


Canadian Oceans need more meaningful protection suggests new report
Top Examiner by Ravi Mandalia – October 28, 2016
With more and more threats posing risk to marine life globally as well as Canada in particular, there is a need to provide more meaningful protection to Canadian oceans, a new report has suggested.

Labeling and Marketing

3MMI – Gulf of Alaska Groundfish Closures Shock West Coast Flatfish Inventories
TradexFoods – October 31, 2016
3-Minute Market Insight:
An unexpected closure in the Gulf of Alaska will leave many West coast vendors scrambling for inventories of flatfish this Fall.

Federal Register

Fisheries of the Exclusive Economic Zone Off Alaska; Groundfish by Vessels Using Trawl Gear in the of the Gulf of Alaska
A Rule by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on 10/31/2016
NMFS is opening directed fishing for groundfish by vessels using trawl gear in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). This action is necessary to fully use the 2016 groundfish total allowable catch in the GOA.

Ann Owens
Pacific Seafood Processors Association
Office Manager
1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119
Phone: 206.281.1667
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October 31, 2016