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Strong forecast for Alaskan pinks

the Fish Site Editor
03 April 2017, at 1:00am

Alaskan pink salmon are expected to be in abundance this odd-numbered year, with steady pricing expected for the foreseeable future, according to this weeks Tradex Foods 3-Minute Market Insight.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is expecting 142 million pink salmon to be harvested in the state during 2017, about 103 million more than in 2016, but 49 million less than the last bumper year in 2015.

According to state catch data, the average fish size was 3.95 pounds last season, and we expect the year class to be similar this year after the adverse water conditions hit the coast in 2016.

Another factor for the supply chain - Russian pink salmon is expected to be bountiful this year.

Many Chinese suppliers advised us that Russian scientists have forecasted a strong pink salmon run for 2017.

Russian raw materials can sometimes be around ten to twenty cents cheaper per pound than Alaskan raw material, so this fishery could have a strong effect on the North American market.

We will know more in June once fishing is underway.

Moving on to pricing forecasts - we saw limited offers throughout 2016, with ocean run headed and gutted pink salmon pricing floating in the range of $1.50 to $1.70 for the past six months.

Expect pricing to remain on par with where we left off last month - we will be surprised if we see pricing above $1.60 per pound on the West Coast.

To briefly touch on chum salmon now, we see the potential for a price increase on new production during a very slim market right now.

Alaska is expecting just under 17 million chum to be harvested, about 1.2 million more than we saw in in 2016.

Dark skinned, good meat colour headed and gutted chums were around $1.60 per pound last week, with ocean run Trim C fillets at the $2.40 mark.

We have heard speculation of Alaska processors focusing on more filleting this season, as opposed to H&G production, but predominately on sockeye.

More on that next week, when we discuss the sockeye markets in more detail.