By SeafoodSource staff
Published on Sunday, April 08 2012
A resurgence of farmed fish and shifting world currencies could shake up salmon markets this year.
“There are two trends going into the current salmon season that we haven’t seen for several years,” said Gunnar Knapp, a fisheries economist at the University of Alaska Anchorage. “Exchange rates look to be weaker ... (and) farmed salmon prices, rather than rising or holding steady, have fallen significantly. So we will be selling into a market where there is a lot more competing product available at a lot cheaper price.”
There has been a huge rebound in world farmed salmon production over the past year — notably by Chilean producers who have recovered from a killer salmon virus that devastated their industry four years ago. Chile pegs farmed salmon and trout production this year at 700,000 tons, or 1.5 billion pounds (round weight), just slightly below Alaska's total salmon poundage last year.
“I absolutely think what is happening in farmed salmon production and markets is the critical thing for the Alaska salmon industry to be paying attention to going into this salmon season,” Knapp said.