Market information is essential to all fish harvesters, so we’ve just launched a free weekly market update for our paid Canadian ELOG subscribers. These updates, along with our test crew and other initiatives, support our goal of not just being a software provider but adding value to our subscribers and supporting their businesses.
We’re sourcing the information for our market update from data from major fisheries news sources, export information, and trade publications. For 2023 these weekly updates will mainly be focused on crab and lobster on the east coast and Dungeness crab on the west coast, but as we become certified in other fisheries, we will broaden our market report to include those other species. Note: Our Salmon ELOGS are currently in the test phase and will be the next to be released.
During May, we will be sending this to anyone who is interested; after that, it will go to our paid users, so if you would like to receive these emails, please fill in the form below and you’ll be added to the list. Please email us if you have any questions! Our next update will be coming out on Thursday, May 11th.
Here’s our update for the week of May 1st to give you a taste of what these updates will include:
Vericatch Fisheries Market Update for Week of May 1st
Snow Crab Comments
The closing commentary of May 4th for Frozen Crab notes that the price in the Gulf is firm. The price in NL is only on 2022 inventory. The tone of the market is “somewhat unsettled”, which is an improvement on just being “unsettled”.
One interesting point about the above prices is the gap that has opened up between the Gulf and NL. Historically, there is a gap of 5 to 15 cents. A gap any larger than that is very rare. Since 2018, the gap between NL and Gulf snow crab has exceeded 15 cents on approximately ten price quotes out of more than 400.
It is also interesting that the price has firmed up at $4.85 despite the fact that there is supposedly still significant inventory ready to be moved.
A quick note on Urner Barry. It indicates where the market is but often does not reflect the market. It is not uncommon for per pound export price to exceed UB.
Quick Points – Historical Context
- The last time UB was this low was in 2013 and 2014. In 2013, the market price started at USD $4.60 [AT5] and climbed to $4.85 USD by the end of the season. Harvesters were paid $2.00/lb CAD.
- In 2014, the market price started at $5.10 and remained at that level for most of the season until it increased to $5.20. Harvesters were paid $2.30/lb.
- In 2013, the price of raw material [AT6] [RK7] was $3.03 CAD, and the export price from NL was $5.09 CAD.
- In 2014, the price of raw material was $3.43 CAD, and the export price was $5.58 CAD.
- In 2013, the average US-CAD exchange rate between May and August was $1.04. In 2014, the average US-CAD exchange rate between May and August was $1.08. The exchange rate for April 2023 was $1.35.
As the graph below shows, lobster has started its annual summertime market price decline:
- In 2022, the price bottomed out on June 16th
- In 2021, the price bottomed out on May 20th
- In 2020, the price bottomed out on June 9th
- Export of Russian Crab to Asia-Pacific Countries Increases Over One-Third in 2022 – this article discusses increased crab sales from Russia to Japan and the overall strength of the Japanese market.
- The Winding Glass: Power Shift Evident as Seafood Industry Hits Inflection Point with Buyers – this article is by John Sackton, a controversial but influential character in fish price setting.
ELOGS will be mandatory in 2024
ELOGS will be mandatory next year, and we encourage you to start using them now so you have one less thing to sort out at the beginning of next year’s fishing season. They are cost effective, easy to use, and will cut down on your time filling in paper logs. You can sign up for them here and test them for free before you commit.
Views and data expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Vericatch. Information is offered in good faith but may, from time to time, include errors or omissions.