North America’s Top 20
The 30 largest seafood suppliers in North America generated an estimated USD 15 billion in sales in 2011, and a majority of the companies polled this spring by SeaFood Business say 2012 is shaping up to be bigger and better. Why? Consumer confidence appears stronger and U.S. employment rates are improving; many wild fisheries around the world are certified sustainable or are in rehabilitation; export markets are eager for U.S. and Canadian seafood; and industry consolidation is again becoming a hot topic of conversation, an indicator that the economy is on the mend and that investors’ interest in the industry is healthy.
Our annual Top Suppliers list, which doubles as an industry pulse check, looks different this year with a new No. 1 and a strong debut from one of the continent’s largest salmon farmers. This year we ranked 20 companies based on 2011 sales, a total just shy of USD 11 billion.
There are plenty of familiar names near the top, including the three leading U.S. tuna companies and, of course, a slew of Seattle seafood stalwarts. Of the ranked companies, only four registered a smaller sales number than the previous year, while several companies saw major revenue increases, with one of them realizing a year-over-year gain of 33 percent.
Reasons for the strong performances are as varied as the companies on the list. Increased costs for raw materials and improving global demand for seafood are obvious parts of the equation. That aquaculture production overseas has recovered from catastrophic weather events and diseases (i.e. flooding in Thailand and infectious salmon anemia in Chile) certainly doesn’t hurt.
But as much as the Top Suppliers list is about looking back, it’s also a good time to look forward. Executives at leading supply companies discussed numerous issues affecting supply and demand with mostly positive outlooks.
The Top 20 was also the subject of a 10 May SeafoodSource webinar featuring SeaFood Business Senior Editor James Wright, Ignacio Kleiman, CEO of Glacier Securities in New York, and Tim Antilla, senior VP of seafood and maritime industries for Wells Fargo in Seattle. After Wright presented the Top 20 list, Kleiman and Antilla discussed the financial outlook for 2012, including the climate for mergers and acquisitions, access to financing and the overall health of the North American seafood sector.