New Website about salt cod is up and running!

To all my readers, I'm sorry for some slow writting. All in all I thank you very much!
Anyway, just to add that for salt cod and other saltfish, I'm building a multi-language platform for clients and audience.
You are invited to visit our salt cod and other saltfish websites....

In Portuguese for final consumer products, we have our premium brand for salt cod Dom Bacalhau ....
you can visit us at DomBacalhau.

In Portuguese, we have for distributors and other audience, we include salt cod and other saltfish, all of Norwegian origin, please visit us at Bacalhau.

In English, we will soon include a blog/information page on salt cod and other saltfish, you can find us at Saltfish .

In Spanish, we also have a special website for you at Bacalao.

Last but not least, we present to you our French website, to visit, just follow the Morue link.

Saltfish is a worldwide product, from South America to Europe, many cultures use these fine products in different and very creative ways.


Makayabu and Ambassade African & Caribbean delight

Not many salt fish processors have given much attention to Makayabu & Ambassade, however in the last few years these products are starting to become major production for many processors. And therefore have become major priority for many producers.
We see many African countries constantly increasing imports of these products and worldwide the demand is growing.
We have to bear in mind that these products in the past were economic and low cost products, today due to the increase in demand, they've become more and more expensive, when compared to other whitefish.
These products are normally sold in 9 kg carton boxes, and the size of the fish is small. The fish is split with the back bone in, which makes it weigh a bit more than the traditional butterfly split. It is normally not washed before drying which makes it a fish with much salt on the surface.
The makayabu, due to the fat content, the surface oxidizes very easy, becoming yellow in colour. The Ambassade on the other hand is a whiter looking fish.
Makayabu and Ambassade are sold in the traditional markets all over central Africa, especially in Angola, DRC, and Congo.
Due to the high transport costs, as these products require refrigerated transport, they all arrive in 40' reefer containers. On arrival, cold rooms are require to store these products.
A good storage can increase the shelf life of these products, that is normally 1 year, but well stored can last much longer.
Both Caribbean and African countries are the major markets for these products and the main exporters are located in Norway, where most of the fish originates.
I would like to thank Northern Fish Iberia for supplying me with the photo.


Dry Salted Cod Market Review July 2014

The dry salted cod market has been in turbulence for quite a while now, after hitting record low prices in 2013, I believe we are in the up trend already.
Just to state, why we reached historical low prices in cod.  The ICES advised in mid 2012 an increase in the codfish quota for 2013, due to several factors which indicated that the growing numbers of codfish stock in the North Atlantic would sustain such and increase in quota. The quota increase was a clear indication to all market operators that prices would in 2013 be at lower levels than 2012. Basically we seen as of July 2012 a gradual downfall in pricing, as most producers were reducing inventory to avoid bigger losses.
This negative effect in prices, has brought some positive effects on consumption. The consumption of codfish has increased and several new markets have opened up. The haddock quota and pricing has also been beneficial to the increase in codfish consumption, as codfish has been a natural substitute of haddock.
In mid 2013 the ICES advised a small decrease in quota for 2014, normally the ICES mid year perspective for quota is confirmed by the regulatory bodies later in the year.
In 2014, the prices have been stable and rising, in the salted codfish market we have lack of smaller size fish. The lack of small size codfish is due to more profitable markets and clients like the fresh fish industry and Chinese processors. The lack of some sizes, has been changing slightly the markets, big supermarket chains have been avoiding campaigns with smaller fish and have centered their campaigns in bigger fish.
For the remaining months of 2014 and 2015, we expect a price increase due to several factors:
- Very likely significant quota reduction for 2015 (10% reduction);
- Continuous high prices for haddock
- General increase in consumption of codfish by the fresh fish industry. This is a tendency that is here to stay, we currently see Icelandic fleet seriously investing in these products. The numbers are also supporting, the growth in fillet markets is very high and codfish has been gaining markets all over the world.
- Increase in consumption in the Russian market
- The dry salted cod is mainly sold to Portugal, Spain and Brazil. The economic crisis has slowed down demand. Therefore North Atlantic producers tend to select by profit the markets and niches they will serve, I believe that gradually the importance of these three markets in the world consumption of codfish will slowly lose power to other more profitable markets and clients.
- Strong purchasing power from Chinese and fresh fish industry


Bacalhau prospects for 2014

Dry salted cod our dear bacalhau, had a great 2013 in a consumers perspective, a rather bumpy one in a industrial or sales perspective, with the lowest margins ever.
Bacalhau has become a rather cheap source of proteins, when compared to other substitutes. We can never forget that dry salted bacalhau, will grow in weight once we desalt it, reaching 35%. So in reality this positive effect on weight will be a tremendous gain, while other food products have a tendency to decrease in weight, like meat (especially if injected with phosphates) and fish (like octopus).
For 2014, we believe will be the turning point for the industry, as several mutations will be dynamically playing in the market.
Important things to look out for in 2014, that may effect the market as we know it:
  • The increase in consumption of fresh cod, from fillet industry and in general
  • Cod as a substitute of other fish widely consumed
  • Increase in demand from China & Russia
Although the quota did not suffer any reduction compared to 2013, it is expected that the peek of quota has been attained and it is expected a slight decrease in the next few years. 
Fresh cod market is expected to increase its demand for raw material in 10%. Norwegian producers see good margins in this business, giving them first hand choice and high quality in the fresh cod raw material market. Basically fresh cod market is paying more for the kg than processing it to the bacalhau industry, the additional value created is by far not compensated by the surcharge paid by the fresh cod market, and also payments are quicker. It is also expected that this surge in demand for fresh cod is a sustainable demand, which will be responsible for future growth of income. It has become an important part of Norwegian producers income.
Cod as a substitute for other fish, we have seen this before. When cod prices were high, cod was being gradually substituted in some niche markets by other fish, namely Pacific cod and Saithe. Due to the low price we currently have, cod is gradually recovering market share in all corners of the globe.
Important is to refer that Haddock is also one of the main reasons for a possible impulse of cod consumption in the UK, it is expected a reduction of 10% in fishing in 2014, after the reduction of almost 40% from 2012 to 2013. We believe UK market to start looking at cod as an alternative to their fish & chips business. It has become an economic alternative.
The increase in demand from China, has been gradually going on for the last few years. They in general buy smaller sizes, but will gradually start buying other sizes to guarantee quantities. Also the Russian market has become a consumer of cod, and are paying good average price per kg.
All together we see that the bacalhau industry is shifting slightly and 2014 will eventually confirm the data that we are retrieving.