No Agreement on Oregon Crab Price; Domoic Acid Test Results Imminent
Oregon fishermen and processors met Nov. 16 and 17 during state-monitored price negotiations but came away with no resolution writes Susan Chambers. There was some concern about the meat quality test results from the Astoria area that showed crab weren't quite mature. It was unclear whether crab from that area would mature in time for a Dec. 1 opening. Another meeting is planned for this week. Meanwhile, California fishermen report the central California fishery around Sn Francisco is going well, with an ex-vessel price of around $3 a pound since the season opened on Nov. 15. Some reported a significant drop in productivity after the first pull, but some of the larger vessels made only one delivery as of Sunday, Nov. 20.
South Korea plans to significantly increase the volume of pollock imports from Russia in the coming years, according to recent statements of the Russian Pollock Association. South Korea has faced with a shortage of pollock, caused by a significant decline of its stocks in the Sea of Japan and the reduction of supplies from Japan. Soth Korea's pollock supplies also took a hit because of reduced fishing quotas for South Korean fisherman that were operating in Russian waters.
In other news, Chinese e-commerce retailers battled over market share for seafood sales during China's annual "Singles Day" sales event. The day is known for generating some of the highest sales figures for online retailers in China each year. This includes more seafood sales for JD Fresh and Alibaba, two operators that are now competing to sell and deliver more fresh seafood directly to consumers. Alibaba recently invested several million dollars in Gfresh's online platform while JD Fresh announced a deal to distribute Canadian seafood products directly to Chinese consumers.
Meanwhile, the Pacific Seafood Processors Association has hired Kristine D. Lynch, PhD to replace Dennis Phelan who is retiring after 32 years as Vice President for government relations in Washington, DC. “I’m incredibly honored to be able to work in the Alaskan seafood industry,” Lynch said. “PSPA has a long, proud tradition of bringing value to its members, and I’m fully committed to advancing that goal through effective engagements and collaboration in Washington, DC."
Finally, Ocean Choice International has secured a refinancing loan through a deal orchestrated by Antarctica Advisors. The deal ends a multi-year attempt by the Newfoundland-based seafood processor to refinance its debt. "This transaction is an important milestone for the future of OCI as a leading global seafood supplier. The company has now secured a flexible capital structure that will allow OCI to continue to grow and develop our operations for the benefit of all stakeholders, including our customers, our employees and the communities in which we operate," said Martin Sullivan, the CEO of OCI.
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