Bristol Bay King Crab Prices at Record Levels, Similar to 2011
Bristol Bay king crab prices are at record levels again, equaling the prices of $20 per lb. last reached in 2011 reports John Sackton. Packers issued preliminary prices for Ocean run king crab in Seattle at $20.10, with higher prices for over 900 gram and slightly lower for under 900 gram sections. For Japan the price offer is $19.75 C&F, but we have not confirmed contracts at those prices. According to Sackton, while Alaska's more limited crab quotas this season are certainly contributing to the hike in prices, there is also just a lot of demand for Alaskan king crab that has been pushing up the market all year.
The 21st edition of the China Fisheries & Seafood Expo will open in Qingdao on November 2nd. The show has steadily grown and will set a new record for exhibit space this year, with around 35,000 square meters sold. This is a 16 percent increase over last year. An estimated 25,000 visitors from 100 countries will attend. The show is on track to surpass Seafood Expo Europe in Brussels as the single largest seafood trade show in the world by 2017. The increase is being driven by overseas exhibitors who are increasingly seeing China as a major market. "Asia is the world’s largest consumer of seafood, so it’s logical that over time China Fisheries & Seafood Expo becomes the world’s largest seafood show,” said Yang Hong, general manager of Sea Fare China.
In other news, Alaska's Board of Fish concluded its meeting in Soldotna and said it will take up a proposal to eliminate the mature female Bairdi crab biomass threshold to open the fishery at its next meeting scheduled for this January in Kodiak. The proposal to adjust the Bairdi management regulation was a response from Alaskan crab industry representatives after the ADF&G closed this year's fishing season outright because of insufficient crab biomass in the Bering Sea. The industry wants the fishery to reopen out of a belief that there are more crabs in the water than what the summer surveys are indicating.
Meanwhile, the EU is scrambling to save the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) free trade deal with Canada. The agreement is supposed to be signed next week in Canada at a formal ceremony. It has support from all 28 EU member states. However, Belgium cannot sign the deal since one of its regional parliaments continues to oppose the treaty. CETA is supposed to give Canada's seafood exporters a second major trading partner outside of the US market since it would cut tariffs on its seafood shipments, some that are as high as 20 percent. There are also some lingering issues with the deal in Canada. In Newfoundland, provincial officials were promised a $400 million fisheries transition fund if they would agree to CETA. However, federal officials are unsure how they will honor that financial commitment.
Finally, fishery officials in Massachusetts will keep shellfish harvesting in Nantucket Sound closed until at least November 1st because of domoic acid in the waters. A closure extended past November would delay the start to scallop harvesting in the Sound, which is slated to start on November 1st. A delay to the scallop season would not necessarily impact supplies to the wholesale market in any meaningful way. Still, it would be an atypical closure for shellfish harvesters in Massachusetts given the time of the year. Usually by this time waters are cold enough to prevent waterborne outbreaks in shellfish. As we reported earlier this week, this is the first ever outbreak of domoic acid to impact the East Coast shellfish industry.
We've also published our latest Weekly Seafood News Video Recap, which can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail in today's newsletter. Alternatively, the video can be viewed directly on our homepage through the embedded playlist. You can also listen to Seafood News content through our podcast channels available to iPhone and Andriod users through iTunes, Google Play or SoundCloud.
Have a great weekend.
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