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Japan's total squid supply drops to 150,000 tons, prices soar

Last year, Japan’s total squid supply (including local fishing, imports and carryover stocks) was only 150,000 tons, a decrease of nearly 20% from the previous year. The average supply of squid in the past 20 years was more than 50% lower than that in 2000. A decrease of 75% from 667,000 tons in 2017.

Production of Pacific tuna, Japan's main commodity species, hit a record low, according to data released by the National Federation of Fisheries cooperative Association. The catch of the seafood, mainly used for sashimi and dried food, fell last year. 20% to 13,348 tons. The production of chilled Pacific squid fell by 35% to 11,550 tons, a new low since 1984, and the production of frozen Japanese squid fell by 60% to 1,780 tons.



Japan's National Squid Processing Cooperatives (National Squid Processing Cooperatives) said that the country's catch was only one-fifth of that in 2015. The significant reduction in supply and the soaring prices of raw materials and other raw materials have had a huge impact on squid processing companies across the country.

Poor squid fishing has forced many vessels to end their roles early. Industry insiders told UCN that there are 55 squid fishing boats in Japan, four of which stopped operating at the end of 2023.



While production is declining, prices are rising sharply. In addition, fuel and production costs are increasing day by day. In 2023, the price of chilled Japanese squid rose by 22% to JPY 931/kg, and that of frozen squid rose by 51% to JPY 1,633/kg. The wholesale price of processed products is also rising, with the frozen wholesale price reaching JPY 2,042/kg in December 2023.

In the first 11 months of last year, Japan imported 82,800 tons of frozen squid, a year-on-year decrease of 9%.

Japan's squid import quota for fiscal year 2023 is 99,950 tons. The Japanese Fisheries Agency proposes to increase the import quota to 114,950 tons in 2024, but there is still uncertainty whether this can meet market demand.

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