Alaska pollock in net

The Latest From the World of Groundfish

Norwegian haddock catches were 16% higher in June while the EU import prices on frozen Alaska pollock fillets are down 11%. 

The monthly Groundfish report gives valuable insight into the groundfish species haddock, saithe, pollock and hake, through extensive data presentation and comments. This month we give you a little insight in the findings from our latest Groundfish report and what has happened in the industry.  

Norwegian catches of haddock amounted to 57.390 tonnes in January-June which is 4% less than for the same period last year despite the increase in quota. In June the catches were 6.150 tonnes wfe which is 16% higher than for the same period in 2020. With about 10.800 tonnes more left on the quota compared to the same period last year we can expect this trend to continue through the fall with catch volumes exceeding last years. The haddock catches in Iceland in June is also strong with a catch of 3.800 tonnes wfe, 42% higher than June last year.  
The main export markets for Norwegian frozen haddock are the UK and China which represents 80% of total export for frozen whole haddock in 2021. Fresh haddock on the other hand is only exported to Europe with the UK and Denmark being the main importers. The export volume of fresh haddock to the UK has increased by 55% so far this year with the export in June being especially high compared to the same period in previous years. The re-opening of pubs and restaurants in the UK in mid-May is unquestionably contributing to the increasing import from Norway. 
The latest available EU import data shows the status for April 2021. From January to April 2021 the total import of haddock from all catch nations to the EU (ex. UK) are down 42% compared to the same period in 2020. The demand for Haddock in the EU during the pandemic has been low with both import volume and prices being significantly lower than the same period in 2020 and previous years. The weighted average import price in the period is 9% and 16% lower than for the same period in 2020 and 2019 respectively. 

Catch of Alaska pollock 
The catches of Alaska Pollock in the US have amounted to 852.800 (incl. Week 28) and in Russia the catch reached 1.096.000 by the end of June. For the US the catches have been 214.100 Tonnes more than at the same point last year. If the high catches persist throughout the autumn season, they will approach the quota and the high total volumes from 2018 and 2019 after weaker catches in 2020. Russian catches are behind last year which had record high catches with 1.8 million tonnes in total, and 1,2 million by June. With the Russian quota 7% higher than in 2020 and slower catch rates in the first half of 2021 reaching the TAC for 2021 is unlikely. The average catch in July-December has the last 5 years been 550.000 Tonnes meaning the catch needs to be nearly 60% higher than normal to reach the quota.  
The EU is one of the largest markets for Alaska pollock and the main supplying countries are China, the US and Russia. The total import in January-April amounted to 134.700 tonnes product weight which is 6% lower than for the same period last year. The main product imported are frozen Alaska pollock fillets accounting for 76% of the total import of Alaska pollock to the EU. The EU import prices on frozen Alaska pollock fillets are down 11% compared to 2020 which indicates lower demand for the product. 
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Image: Shutterstock by Alex Coan