Mackerel Market Report - April 2009
Global mackerel markets appear to have experienced mixed fortunes during the
past year, affected by fluctuating currencies, drops in landing quota
reflected in unit value, and a major market (Russia) imposing a temporary ban
The volume of mackerel exported by Norway fluctuated significantly
between 2005 and 2007. 141000 tonnes was exported in 2006, which was a -24%
reduction on 2005, but there was a surge in exports in 2007, increasing +199%
to 339000 tonnes. All countries except Poland imported higher volumes in
2007. 2008 saw a slight reduction in Norwegian exports.
Japan was the key market for
frozen mackerel from Norway,
accounting for about one third of total exports. Gaps in purchase costs by
trading firms have widened because of the yen's appreciation against
Norwegian krone since last October, causing some
confusion in domestic sales. For the next season, market analysts point out
that traders will grope for where the prices will be settled for the coming
six months because overall mackerel quotas, including those of the EU, will
be expanded. China
is an important market for mackerel, mainly for reprocessing, of the final
product also ending up in the Japanese market.
imports of frozen mackerel in 2008 aggregated 41 567 tonnes, down 7.6% from
the previous year, while import value showed a marginal decline. Fishing in Norway and Ireland,
the two main suppliers, was sluggish, and small-size fish of 130-200 grams from the Netherlands
was traded from around the spring. However, fishing in Norway and Ireland turned for the better in
the new season started in September 2008,. In Japan, during
the present mackerel season the proportion of the species not suited for
popular dried cut-open products is rising, giving a scanty prospect for
supply from domestic sources. Market watchers are concerned that demand for
frozen small-size fatty horse mackerel suited for dried products will become
tight. But catches by Korean vessels, operating in the same area as Japan,
increased 66.4% to 8 050 tonnes last year, suggesting that the Korean
products will have a greater presence in the Japanese market.
German imports of mackerel grew by 54% to 8 000 tonnes between 2007 and 2008.
The most imported product was whole frozen mackerel which accounted for more
than 60% of total mackerel imports into the country. Main supplying country
of frozen mackerel to the German market were the Netherlands with 2 000 tonnes.
All depends on the new mackerel season
Any forecast for mackerel markets is very difficult at this time of the year,
as the main fishing season in Norway
still have to start. Demand seems to be good in Russia
which should keep prices relatively high in coming months.