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Hokkaido scallops enter peak fishing season, raw material prices drop 50%

According to information provided by UCN partner Suisan Keizai, Japan's Hokkaido scallops have entered the peak production season, but due to China's import ban, raw material prices have dropped by 50% year-on-year.

According to data from Japan's Iburi Funka Bay Fishery Cooperative, between October 2023 and February 2024, the average price of shelled scallops was JPY 159/kg ($1.08/kg), a 50% decrease from the same period last year (JPY 329/kg).

Since late February, Funka Bay scallops have entered the peak fishing season. The daily output in the five districts is as much as 200 tons. The price of raw materials ranges from JPY 150/kg ($1.00/kg) to JPY 170/kg ($1.13/kg). In some periods The price is over JPY 200/kg. After entering March, scallop prices stabilized and supply slowed down due to drought.

As of the end of February, Funka Bay's cumulative output was 3,470 tons, and the cooperative expects output this season to be 6,360 tons. In the Oshima region, the growth of scallops was extended and the production was low in February. It is expected to enter the peak season in March and April, with the average daily production reaching 1,000 tons.

One trend in the Japanese scallop processing industry this year is that more processing plants will shift to producing cooked products, but whether the production progress of the processing plants can match the daily fishing has become a new question.

Another issue worthy of attention is that the production of clinker is expected to expand this season, and how will the market demand evolve? If all the reduced raw material production capacity is filled with clinker, there is still doubt whether it will be accepted by the market.

Japanese media predict that the price of cooked products will inevitably fall. Some processing companies said that the number of orders they received this year was twice that of last year, and they rejected some orders from new customers.


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