IntraFish Business Intelligence kicks off its species report series with a deep dive into the global supply of whitefish, focusing specifically on pollock and Atlantic cod.
The 2019 Groundfish Forum is now behind us, with executives compiling the data projecting a relatively stable supply for the coming year.
Among the most closely-watched figures are those for pollock and cod, and with prices high for both species, it's time to take a look at where supply might take the market.
Alaskan and Russian Pollock
Among all the major whitefish species, none is more influential than pollock, with its massive catch volume. Next year is expected to see a slight decline in volume, and making even more of an impact is the continued shift toward higher-value species, which takes industrial volumes such as pinbone out blocks off the market.
Current Harvest & Production
In looking at the breakdown of the pollock harvest in the later part of this year, it's clear why there are concerns over the global pollock and surimi supply this year.
A glance at the frozen products coming out of Alaska shows surimi topping the charts. This year's figures may surpass 2018's in several categories as 2019 numbers are only through Sept. 21.
With the tightened supply, prices have reflected accordingly. EU importers saw 40 percent higher prices for frozen pollock fillets from China in week 40 this year compared to last year.
Over the last eight weeks, the imported volume of these frozen pollock fillets from China into the EU are on par with the same time period last year.
Alaska pollock harvest has been down this year despite an increase in its quota in the Bering Sea.
Here's a look at pollock quotas in Russia:
This year's Groundfish Forum estimates that global Atlantic cod supply will nudge up slightly, which is better than the last two years, during which global supply fell by 7 and 8 percent respectively, year-on-year.
As for cod, data out of Iceland show stable levels this year so far compared to 2018.
Frozen fillets of Atlantic and Greenland cod out of Iceland are slightly higher in the last eight weeks this year compared to last year. Volume is about the same, although more stable in recent weeks, year-on-year.
Newly-released Barents Sea cod quotas, agreed between Russian and Norwegian authorities, lay the groundwork for a slightly higher catch next year.
More than $2 billion worth of pollock products are traded each year with Russia, China and the United States comprising of the main exporters, according to Globefish. As for cod products, countries trade more than $4.5 billion among each other each year.
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