Bidding Wars for Limited Gulf Shrimp at the Docks Sends Wholesale Prices Higher in Most Categories
Bidding wars at shrimp docks across the Gulf of Mexico have wholesale market prices for domestic shrimp trending higher in most categories in September. Processors are scrambling to secure shrimp with availability more limited compared to last year. Total Gulf landings in July were down 36 percent from 2015 and 38 percent from the five-year monthly average. It’s a difference of about 4 million pounds at this point last year. “If you take that many pounds out of circulation and you don’t have substantial inventories going into the season it creates a perfect storm for prices to increase,” said Nello Cassarino, owner of Galveston Shrimp Company in Texas.
About $14 billion worth of cargo is still stranded at sea because of the bankruptcy filing by South Korean shipping line Hanjin. Dozens of Hanjin's ships carrying more than half a million cargo containers have been denied access to ports around the world because of uncertainty about who would pay docking fees, container-storage and unloading bills. Some of those ships have been seized by the company's creditors. Though Hanjin accounts for a small portion of global container capacity, the disruption, which comes as retailers prepare to stock their shelves for the holiday season, is expected to be costly, as companies scramble to book their goods on other carriers. Meanwhile, shipping rates for Asia to US cargo increased as much as 50 percent this week for all shipping lines as the holiday season approaches.
In other news, according to China's Panyu Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, recently 30,000 tilapia brood cultivated in Panyu of Guangzhou have passed the bureau’s examination and been exported to Myanmar. This is the first batch of China’s tilapia brood sold to that country. The broodstock sales to Myanmar are the result of high tilapia production costs in China.
Meanwhile, the West Coast trawl catch shares program five-year review kicked off with a series of public hearings. Susan Chamber reports on some of the common these that have already emerged from the review which include: the non-whiting shoreside sector is underutilizing its allocation, monitoring costs are affecting both processors and fishermen and sablefish has become a constraining species. The Pacific Fishery Management Council will hold more hearings throughout September, accept public comment at its September meeting in Boise, Idaho, and also appoint a Community Advisory Board to discuss the program and develop potential remedies.
Finally, Dr. David Wilson officially took the role as the seventh Executive Director of the International Pacific Halibut Commission. Dr. Bruce Leaman handed over the reins last week after a month of orientation when Wilson was briefed on current research, process, and staff at the IPHC. “One of my goals on this was to leave Dave [Wilson] with as highly functioning an organization as I possibly could,” said Leaman. “He may want to come in and look at things differently, but from a functional perspective I wanted to leave him with the best available.“
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