In France, seafood prices are soaring
By Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris
10 March, 2011
French consumers saw prices rise for all but two of 14 fish species in January, as tracked by Kantar Worldpanel.
Salmon soared, topping the 14 species with a price increase of some 25.8 percent. And in what could be seen as a knee-jerk reaction to increasing prices and a post-Christmas salmon drop-off, the volume of salmon tumbled 38.7 percent in January.
The figures collated for French fisheries and agriculture agency FranceAgriMer examined the market for whole, filleted and pre-packed seafood. They reveal that the volume of whole fish fell by 8.8 percent, compared to a rise in filleted and pre-packed fish of 4.1 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.
Among the strident double-digit price rises in the month were saithe, which jumped 13.8 percent, a 14.9 percent hike for seabream and a 17.3 percent rise for whiting. Indeed, according to Kantar, hake was 17.3 percent more expensive in January than in December.
Only the cost of perch and pangasius fell, by 3.2 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively. Cod rose by a comparatively slight 4.2 percent.
Despite the resilient trend for convenience food across all categories, volumes for seafood-based pre-prepared foods actually fell 3 percent in January. Bringing the sector down was a sharp fall in smoked salmon volumes. According to Kantar, smoked salmon volumes fell a colossal 67.1 percent, although this compares to the previous month of December, when French diners traditionally forge massive demand for smoked salmon during the Christmas holiday.
Volumes of surimi dipped 3.1 percent in January. The most-recent figures available from the French food industry association Adepale suggest that after 20 years of steady growth, in 2009 the French surimi-seafood market started to show signs of maturity, with 2008 sales dipping from the highs of previous years. In terms of volume, ready-to-eat surimi seafood sales shrunk 4.3 percent to 49,500 metric tons in 2008 from the historic high of 52,200 metric tons in 2006.
Breaded fish witnessed a buoyant volume trend for January, rising a massive 103 percent and experiencing a price dip of 5.9 percent.
10 March, 2011