To kick things off, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced a 12 hour opening for the Copper River today.
Last year’s Copper River sockeye salmon harvests were 30 percent below preseason forecasts at 1.58 million fish.
This year, 1.62 million sockeye are expected in the area, but small ice pack and small fish size could continue to be issues this year.
Many U.S. salmon processors are confident that harvests will correlate closely with preseason estimates.
Bristol Bay is expected to be a big run this year - the 46.5 million sockeye salmon expected is 15 percent greater than the 10-year total run average.
Pink salmon is stronger in Alaska on odd numbered years, so it’s no surprise that the forecasted 90 million Pinks for Alaska-wide commercial harvests falls short of the 2015 actual catch by over 50 percent.
Several U.S. vendors alluded to a surge in demand in chum salmon in the aftermath of the Chilean Atlantic Salmon culling.
Coastal algal blooms claimed 20 million fish, contributing to an expected 20 percent decline in Chile’s salmon supply this year.
Chum Salmon demand has been somewhat stagnant with carryover inventories in abundance. This has since picked up, indicating pricing jumps on the horizon.
One vendor speculated sockeye prices on the rise due to fishermen seeking more money for their catch, lower harvest forecasts, and low inventory levels heading into the 2016 season.
Buyers should expect wild salmon prices to jump during strong fresh demand as gaps are filled in the void of farmed salmon.
Our crystal ball predictions for IVP Trim C sockeye salmon fillets will be in the mid-$6.00 to $7.00 range USD.
- Across the ocean, European sockeye demand is rising and loads are booking quickly.
A few packers in China confirmed strong European interest in Sockeye due to a substantial pricing drop.