Bristol Bay Red King Crab Season Nearly Wrapped Up With Just 3 Million Lbs To Go
Red king crab fishermen operating in Bristol Bay have landed 5.6 million pounds of their quota since the season started on October 15. There are now just about 3 million pounds of the quota left. Fishermen say the pace of landings has been quick this season and that the crabs have been large. Fishermen expect to catch the remaining Bristol Bay quota by December.
High Liner Foods will invest $13 million to upgrade its seafood processing plant in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and relocate production operations currently housed at two idle plants in Massachusetts to the revamped site. The move is part of High Liner's plan to streamline production efficiencies across the company. "We could process more profitability in Lunenburg and ship it to the United States," High Liner CFO Paul Jewer said Tuesday in a keynote address to the Atlantic Provinces Economics Council. Jewer said High Liner is also closely monitoring the rebuilding of Newfoundland's cod stock, which could offer the company another product to bring to the market in another few years. "It's in the near term. We would hope in the next five years we would have an opportunity to buy great product from the oceans that we used to catch product from," Jewer said.
In other news, Moody's Investors Service warned that the restaurant recession in the US market has arrived after it slashed its operating-profit growth forecast for the sector and revised its outlook to stable from positive. “Consumers are wrestling with higher nondiscretionary spending needs, while restaurant companies face higher operating costs, predominantly labor and challenged traffic trends,” Moody’s analyst Bill Fahy wrote in a note. Those comments followed a string of downbeat earnings from the sector, with the likes of Sonic Corp, Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. reporting declines in same-restaurant sales.
Meanwhile, Walmart joined an antitrust lawsuit this week that accuses Bumble Bee, Starkist and Chicken of the Sea of conspiring to fix canned tuna prices in the US market. The lawsuit alleges that the big three tuna brands started the scheme sometime between 2008 and 2010 and ended it in July 2015. Walmart says the conspiracy violates the Sherman Act since they were unlawfully overcharged for tuna products."Defendants possessed significant market power to raise prices for packaged tuna above competitive levels in the United States with a combined market share of 80-85 percent during 2003-2015, and they conspired to ensure they would stabilize and maintain their market shares in the packaged tuna market despite declining demand," Walmart said in the complaint.
Finally, Marine Harvest posted record earnings in the third quarter as its Chilean operation showed signs of profitability for the first time in two years. Marine Harvest said the favorable earnings performance was the result of high wholesale market prices and global demand for more limited supplies. This is the first time since 2014 that Marine Harvest’s Chilean operation posted profitability. It confirms a report from Rabobank last week that said the Chilean farmed salmon industry has turned the corner and is once again profitable. “It is especially encouraging to see that our business unit in Chile delivers positive earnings after many quarters with negative results,” said Marine Harvest CEO Alf-Helge Aarskog.
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