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Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Alaska Capitol Report: Budget remains key legislative focus Cordova Times by Sen. Gary Stevens - March 4, 2022 Hello again from Juneau. With the legislative session now in its sixth week, there is a lot happening in the Capitol. Of course, the major item on our agenda is the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. Although it is too early to say what it will look like, the Finance Committees in both legislative bodies are meeting with the governor’s finance experts and commissioners to gather information that will be used in the budget process. International ANALYSIS: Uncertainty and Pressure Mount for Alaska Pollock Urner Barry by Lorin Castiglione - March 7, 2022 While the pollock industry closely monitors the Russian invasion of Ukraine, impacts of the war continue to mount for the pollock market. Unrelenting upwards pressure from supply constraints being carried over from seasons past, as well as a reduced quota for the new 2022 season while demand remains unphased by the premiums seen within the current market, is the baseline undertone before throwing in war-related obstacles. Canceled carriers and cargo insurance, increased sanctions, restricted banking systems, consumer opposition to Russian product, as well as transit interruptions along the various stages of shipment, are just a few of the challenges facing the market, outside of any human element of an industry experiencing the crisis through business partners or family members living it. While Alaskan pollock wholesale prices in the U.S. and EU have yet to be adjusted because of the invasion, market players are continuously evaluating the developing situation. It's a struggle between trying to identify their incoming or outgoing order status, dependent upon their industry role, working to gain as much knowledge of their moving parts to reassess and once again, be forced to pivot their initial familiar gameplan to fulfill and secure orders. The 2022 Bering Sea Alaska pollock fishery in the U.S. is slated to land 2.4 billion pounds of pollock, while the primary source for Russian pollock, the Sea of Okhotsk, is set at just over 2.1 billion pounds. Historically, China was Russia’s leading export destination but in 2021 that changed to South Korea amid obstacles stemming from the pandemic leading to a decrease of seafood exports to the country. In turn, focus on domestic consumption within Russia of their own pollock products has increased. Similarly in the U.S., the Republic of Korea also claimed the top export destination for U.S. pollock from the Netherlands in 2020. Historically, Japan has held the top spot in previous years. As more sanctions are put in place and uncertainty mounts, reports of Russian suppliers offloading product at a rapid pace have been noted, along with discounts to entice buyers. If the situation escalates and Russian product becomes... Be the first to gain access to analysis pieces from Urner Barry market reporters. Subscribe to Urner Barry's Comtell today. Read the analysis on Comtell here. Massachusetts, Alaska Lead Other U.S. Seafood States in Calls to Cut Economic Ties with Russia by Peggy Parker - March 4, 2022 Yesterday the Massachusetts Seafood Collaborative issued a strong call to its state Legislature to “sacrifice our own economic interests for the interests of a people under siege” and block imports of Russian seafood. Also yesterday, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced that he has directed all state agencies, including Alaska’s $81.5 billion Permanent Fund Corporation to identify and divest of their Russian assets. Those assets for the Permanent Fund are listed at about $163 million, or 0.2% of the total. Both of those states' U.S. congressional delegations were at odds just a few weeks ago, when Alaska Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski introduced the US-Russian Federation Seafood Reciprocity Act that banned U.S. imports from Russia. (Russia banned imports of U.S. seafood years ago.) Senator Edward Markey, and several national members of the U.S. seafood industry, protested the bill only on the unintended consequences of disrupting business. Now those concerns are fast fading as Russia’s aggression against Ukraine worsens. “The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has forced our industry — and our nation — to decide between our ideals and our wallets,” said the Massachusetts Seafood Collaborative in yesterday’s statement. “Let us not forget, Massachusetts was the cradle of our own fight for independence against an imperial power, therefore, to do anything other than stand in solidarity with the courageous Ukrainian people would be to betray our values.” The Coalition called for an immediate sanction against Russian fish exports into the U.S. Coalition President is Roger Berkowitz of Legal Sea Foods and members include Robert Nagle of John Nagle Company, Lawrence Dore, Jr. of Boston Sword & Tuna, and Angela Sanfilippo of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association. Alaska’s legislators have a bill in motion to block Russian imports —including fish, alcohol, and energy— and ensure Russian oligarchs cannot hide their wealth in Alaska. “Russia is attempting to overturn a democracy," said Committee Co-Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage). "As the beacon of democracy across the world, it’s critical that Alaska not be a party to financing this effort in any way.” The bill also includes provisions to prevent Russian ships from accessing Alaska ports. Dunleavy also called on President Biden to declare a national energy emergency for all forms of energy. “I have called on President Joe Biden and his federal agencies to create an expedited process to permit energy projects of all kinds -- oil, gas, nuclear, and renewables -- along with infrastructure such as transmission lines and transportation,” wrote Dunleavy. He also asked all Alaska businesses to divest from Russian companies, stop selling Russian products, and asked all Alaskans to not purchase Russian products or services. He directed Alaska sister cities to “cut ties” with their Russian counterparts, and told state universities to “stop any cultural exchange programs with Russia” and end any contracts with Russian companies. Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Dunleavy both pledged to work with agencies that can assist fleeing Ukrainians to find refuge in their states. Other states are doing the same. Governors in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York and Virginia are pushing state entities to review or cut financial ties with Russian companies. Lawmakers in at least seven states—California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina and West Virginia—have proposed divestment bills. Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has asked state pension systems to explore dropping investments in Russian companies and assets while legislation on the issue would ensure divestment was codified in state law. New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul has ordered state agencies and public-benefit corporations to cut ties with companies headquartered in Russia or aiding the invasion. NY Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick said his legislation would go beyond Hochul’s order by targeting companies with any business ties to the Russian government. “The goal of the Senator’s bill is to treat Russia the same way Iran and North Korea are treated, as international pariahs,” wrote Evan Menist, Reichlin-Melnick’s deputy chief of staff and director of communications. Overall, the U.S. and Russia engaged in about $34.9 billion in trade in 2019, according to the office of the United States Trade Representative. The top imports from Russia that year were fossil fuels, precious metals and stones, iron and steel, fertilizers and inorganic chemicals, according to the agency. In contrast, hundreds of billions of dollars in goods and services moved between the U.S. and each of its top trading partners—Canada, Mexico and China—that year. Pacific Seafood Processors Association 1900 W Emerson Place Suite 205, Seattle, WA 98119 Phone: 206.281.1667 E-mail:; Website: Our office days/hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. *Inclusion of a news article, report, or other document in this email does not imply PSPA support or endorsement of the information or opinion expressed in the document.


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