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