Wild, farmed salmon prices soften

Published on
June 13, 2014

Copper River sockeye salmon prices are coming down as supply is increasing and other wild salmon comes on.

While Copper River king salmon started the season at USD 45 (EUR 33.25) a pound and higher and sockeye was going for USD 26 (EUR 19.21) per pound or more at retail, prices are coming down somewhat. Buyers report that Copper River King salmon is retailing for USD 18 (EUR 13.30) to USD 20 (EUR 14.78) a pound.

“Copper River King Salmon prices were insane at first. Now that other harvest areas have opened up, we brought in other sockeye,” Jack Gridley, meat and seafood director for Dorothy Lane Market in Dayton, Ohio, told SeafoodSource. The retailer is planning a Fourth of July sidewalk sale featuring small fishing family co-ops.

“The market is getting a little flooded, from what I have heard. I’m turning down sockeye,” said Dan Pryor, senior purchaser for wholesaler and retailer Santa Monica Seafood in Santa Monica, Calif.

Wild sockeye salmon prices started this week at USD 8 (EUR 5.91) a pound wholesale on average and have now dropped to USD 7 (EUR 5.17) a pound, buyers report.

“Prices are finally starting to soften after poor opening harvests. King salmon harvest is adequate for trolls, and a Columbia River opener last week increased overall volume,” said Harry Mahleres, director of purchasing for distributor Seattle Fish Co. in Denver, Colo., in his weekly market report.

Adding to the glut, the Bristol Bay forecast is 16.86 million fish salmon this year, compared to 15.5 million last year, with tenders coming in earlier, according to Mahleres. “More openings in Kodiak, Bristol Bay and other regions will further fill the sockeye pipeline and send prices downward,” Mahleres said.

Plus, British Columbia’s salmon fishery will start soon, and production is expected to be high. In addition, the British Columbia sockeye salmon season is expected to offset some of the lower Alaska pink salmon harvest. If early predictions are correct, the Fraser River could have the biggest salmon run in B.C. history this summer. Fisheries and Oceans Canada said the forecast ranges from a low of 7.3 million to a high of 72.5 million.

With high salmon wild salmon supply, farmed Atlantic salmon prices are also softening, buyers say. “As we have cautioned, do not be lulled to a false sense of security by falling Atlantic salmon prices. Production numbers will not increase, and once demand for farmed spikes again, we will see the cost bullwhip effect,” Mahleres said.

Contributing Editor



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