Gulf-wide, the month of March brought a harvest that is much more in line with previous averages, showing a considerable increase from last year and only seven per cent below the average of the prior seven years.
The first quarter of the year has historically only accounted for between six and ten per cent of the total harvest. If that range is applied to the production levels in the first quarter of 2014 it would predict total Gulf landings in 2014 of between 78 and 118 million pounds – if the percentages of harvests for the first quarter of the prior seven years is summed and averaged out, the estimate would be a harvest of around 96 million pounds, a level similar to what was landed in 2010 during the oil spill.
There is an additional chart in the attached because of an anomaly apparent in the data. In particular, landings reported for the West Coast of Florida are abnormally high this year. We don’t usually track these figures and can only find data going back to 2009. With those limitations in mind, note that the final chart shows how large a contributor Florida has been to the overall Gulf landings in the context of Texas and Louisiana’s contributions in historical perspective.
With landed volumes remaining low, dockside prices remain high. However, more noticeable regional deviations have become apparent as harvest locations have changed. For U15s, the Eastern Gulf (west coast of Florida) price dropped to $9.10, in the Northern Gulf (LA, MS, and AL) it remained the same as February at $9.25, and in the Western Gulf (Texas) the price increased significantly to $10.05 (it was reported to be $9.85 last month).
Conversely, prices in the Western Gulf for 41/50 fell to $3 from $3.65 last month. In the Eastern Gulf, 41/50s were reported to have a dockside price of $3.50 after it being $4 in February. But in the Northern Gulf the dockside price reportedly went up for 41/50 – from $3.70 in February to $3.75 in March.