The province’s price-setting panel won’t reveal the final offers on the table for spring shrimp caught by the inshore fleet, but there's word of a 52¢/lb spread — $1.42/lb for the FFAW verses 90¢/lb from the Association of Seafood Producers.
The federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans is expected to announce the northern shrimp quota off eastern Newfoundland and Labrador by May. The minister recently set interim quotas for Gulf shrimp, which didn't go over well.
The panel held a hearing on the spring price last Thursday (April 14th), with a decision expected by Tuesday (April 26th). Under provincial law, the panel must choose one price or the other, nowhere in between.
The FFAW usually tells members when a price has gone to the panel (like the union did with lobster in early April), but not so with spring shrimp.
The panel last set the shrimp price in mid September at $1.30/lb.
SEA-NL has stated that the inshore fleet would need at least that much to start the season, but many owner-operators expect a much higher price considering the skyrocketing price of fuel, which the shrimp fleet burns more of.
52¢/LB DIFFERENCE ABOUT SAME AS LAST YEAR
The 52¢/lb difference between shrimp offers today is about what it was last spring when the FFAW had $1.50/lb on the table compared to the ASP’s $1/lb.
The panel went with the $1/lb — even though the panel felt the “‘right price" was likely somewhere in between the two offers.”
The Gulf fleet (fishing zone 4R) refused to untie for $1/lb, although some boats from the northeast coast (fishing zone 3K) fished right away.
In mid-June the price-setting panel set the summer price of shrimp at $1.10/lb, which was another disappointment to the inshore fleet, and then the price rose again to $1.30/lb at the end of the season (when 99% of the quota had been caught).
The primary markets for Canada's cold-water shrimp are the United Kingdom and Denmark. The European Union's sanctions on Russia for its war on Ukraine has been expanded to include cold-water shrimp.
In February of this year, the United States imported 10% more Canadian shrimp than the same month last year, at an average price of $10.96/kilo — an 11% increase.
Executive Director, SEA-NL