Swordfish season following typical winter pattern
By April Forristall, SeafoodSource assistant editor
18 February, 2010 -
It’s been the typical winter pattern so far this year for swordfish. Low supplies are keeping prices moderately high, although the global economic conditions are keeping prices lower then they could be.
U.S. production is dominated by the Pacific, especially in Hawaii. Mid-Atlantic and offshore boats landing in either Puerto Rico or South Carolina are the second strongest influence, with South America having the least amount of impact on supply right now.
“Good fish are hard to find,” said on East Coast supplier. “Prices have been in the mid-USD 5 to low-USD 6 range on 100s-and-up. There’s a lot of lesser fish available for cutting.”
Over the next few months, supply-and-price conditions aren’t expected to change much, either. Supplies will stay on the moderate side, especially for high-grade fish, said the supplier, with prices increasing slightly to the high-USD 5 to high-USD 6 range for H&G fish.
“One exception maybe next month, [when] Hawaii may have some big trips and that will hold prices down,” noted the supplier.
In 2008, Hawaii landed more than 3.8 million pounds of swordfish, more than half of total U.S. landings of 7.5 million pounds. California was the next in terms of landings, with about 1.2 million pounds.
Last year, Panama was by far the largest U.S. supplier of fresh swordfish at about 2.6 million pounds. As for total swordfish imports — fresh and frozen — to the United States, Singapore (2.8 million pounds) and Ecuador (2.3 million pounds) were the No. 1 and No. 2 suppliers, respectively.
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