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USDA Announces Purchase Awards for Catfish Through Build Back Better Initiative

The USDA announced purchase awards for catfish products, in all purchasing just shy of 3.6 million pounds of raw unbreaded catfish fillets for a total of $32,378,660.

Initially, the USDA was looking to buy a total of 7.6 million pounds of catfish as it announced on December 8. However, 2.7 million pounds was not able to be purchased due to vendor constraints and an additional 1.3 million pounds wasn’t purchased due to price considerations.

The bulk of the purchase by the USDA was from Mississippi-headquartered America’s...

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The Winding Glass:  2021 Was Fantastic Year for Seafood as Disruption Played to Our Strengths

This is the first part of a two-part end of year review. Today we will focus on the fantastic year most in the Seafood industry have had, despite the turmoil and disruption of the pandemic. 

The second part will look at how the factors that helped us in 2021 may play out in 2022 and what we think may be different.

First, some numbers. When I went to analyze what happened with the U.S. seafood supply in 2021, I was blown away by our success...


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ANALYSIS: October Catfish Imports Set Record

Chinese catfish frozen fillets continue to demand premiums well above previous years due to a combination of factors putting pressure on the market including supply constraints, shipping delays due to logistical issues, rising freight costs, increased replacement costs overseas, as well as an active demand, to name a few. 

Even higher prices have been collected by some participants in an effort to temper demand on constrained inventory supply here in the U.S...

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ANALYSIS: Record High Prices, Limited Supply Causing Buying Shift for Chinese Catfish and Pangasius

Wholesale prices for both Chinese catfish and Vietnamese pangasius frozen fillets continue to set new record highs with pangasius even climbing above 2018 levels. Contributing factors continue to point to the rise in freight, shipping delays due to logistical issues including congested ports, as well as active demand supported by the upcoming holiday and Lenten seasons.

YTD Chinese catfish imports are outpacing the previous three years for the same January through September timeframe, however, inventory levels...

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JAPAN: Pangasius Surimi High Quality, Low Price, Production Supported by Rich Resources

Meiko Shokuhin Co., Ltd. of Kuroshio-cho, Kochi Prefecture, which processes and sells poultry and catfish, has started selling fish surimi using "Pangasius." Amid the high raw material costs for surimi products, Suisan Keizai reports that the company is proposing the pangasius surimi to surimi product manufacturers and others as surimi that has achieved high quality, low prices, and stable supply.

The price is 550 yen/kg ($4.81/kg). Even if the water content is increased to about 110% of the raw material, it can maintain firm...

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USDA Eyeing 320,000 Pounds of Catfish Products in Latest Open Purchase Request

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) invited firms to sell catfish products for use in the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs on July 28.

Bid acceptances will be announced by midnight on August 11, 2021 and deliveries will be made between January 1 and February 15, 2021.

The solicitation calls for bids on 320,000 pounds of frozen breaded catfish strips.

Back in May 2021, the USDA issued a purchase request for nearly 2.7 million pounds of...

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USDA Looking to Make 8.3 Million Pound Alaska Pollock Purchase 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is looking to purchase over 8.3 million pounds of Alaska pollock products. The USDA released a bid solicitation on May 4 that said the purchases will be used for the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs.

The USDA said acceptances will be announced by midnight, May 26, 2021 and deliveries are to be made between July 1, 2021 through February 28, 2022. The Department is seeking products including pollock sticks, nuggets and frozen fillets...

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ANALYSIS: Aquaculture Review: Tilapia Strengthening amid Catfish and Pangasius Stagnation

In the current market, tilapia is under upwards pressure, while Chinese catfish and Vietnamese pangasius have remained mostly steady. With all markets experiencing similar logistical obstacles such as rising freight costs, limited to no container availability, and delays from inbound and outbound COVID-19 testing procedures, why is it that tilapia is the only market strengthening at the moment?

Throughout the pandemic the U.S. tilapia market faired extremely well. The country was well supplied with product prior to China shutting...

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USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Releases vAh Evaluation in Farmed Catfish

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared an evaluation of potential entry and exposure pathways of virulent Aeromonas hydrophila (vAh) in the United States.

vAh is known to impact farm-raised catfish leading to mortality and increased treatment expenses and changes to production practices.

APHIS said it performed the assessment following concerns raised by the domestic catfish industry to address the risk of vAh in catfish farms from imported live food fish, raw food fish, and consumable fish food products...

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USDA Eyeing Salmon, Catfish Products Purchase Through Build Back Better Initiative

The USDA has invited offers to sell salmon and catfish products for use in the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs. The USDA noted that both of the solicitations were issued under the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Initiative.

USDA’s salmon solicitation sees the Department eyeing a total of 302,480 cases of canned red salmon. Acceptances will be announced by midnight on December 21 and deliveries are scheduled to be made between February 1, 2022 through July 1, 2022...

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USDA Invites Offers to Sell 1.6 Million Pounds of Pollock; 88K Cases of Canned Salmon

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has invited offers for Alaska pollock and canned pink salmon for use in the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs.

For both purchase requests, acceptances will be announced by midnight, November 22, 2021. Deliveries for the pollock solicitation will be made between January 1, 2022 and June 31 2022. Salmon deliveries will be made between January 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022.

A look at the pollock solicitation shows...

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Senate Recognizes August as National Catfish Month

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution that now makes August 2021 National Catfish Month.  

A delegation of Senators including ed Cruz (R-Texas), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) praised the resolution which recognizes the importance of catfish farmers and workers, and commends the contributions of the farm-raised catfish industry to the economy...

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ANALYSIS: Chinese Catfish Breaking Records Week After Week

Chinese Catfish continues to break records week after week, boasting an average wholesale price that is trending $0.89 per pound higher than the previous three-year average. Multiple factors are putting pressure on the market at once, allowing premiums to swiftly escalate.        

Freight and logistical issues remain at the forefront of conversations with market participants. Problems at the departure port in Guangdong, China, issues in securing container or vessel transport, and skyrocketing freight costs have left some industry players without any..

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Four Charged with Smuggling Mislabeled Catfish Into the U.S.

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York charged four individuals for “participating in a conspiracy to smuggle banned catfish into the United States.”

The four in question, Mahmud Chowdhury, Shakil Ahmed, Belayet Hussain and Firoz Ahammad were the principals of Asia Foods Distributor Inc. (“AFD”), a trading company based in New York City.

The individuals conspired to smuggle large amounts of mislabeled catfish through the company to customers around the U.S.

The defendants implemented a scheme through which the banned catfish were listed as other species...

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The Winding Glass:  Supply Disruption a Possible Major Problem for Seafood Industry in 2021

Despite the pandemic and the uncontrolled COVID outbreak in the U.S., 2020 was a banner year for the seafood industry. The spectacular growth in retail seafood sales compensated for the dramatic loss of foodservice opportunities. According to data presented at NFI’s Global Seafood Marketing Conference, overall seafood sales to retail and foodservice combined grew around 7% last year.

This strength is continuing into 2021. Early indications from retailers suggest that the strength of seafood sales is continuing after the holidays. Many are reporting strong...

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