The problems don't end at the pier. The plants also look complicated, Solimeno says that absenteeism is in the order of 40%
The countdown begins for the shrimp
Tuesday, September 22, 2020, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
The following is an excerpt from an article in Revista Puerto:
There are few open areas for fishing, many concentrated boats and bad weather. Yields have dropped in recent weeks and the season is beginning to end for the fresh fleet. The freezers are selling everything they catch and will ask to continue until October 15.
2020 has been a year full of complications in the logistics and operations of fleets and plants, derived from the coronavirus. The season started very late due to biological circumstances and union conflicts, 30% less has been fished so far than in 2019 and everything would indicate that the difference at the end of the year will be greater. The fleet has operated in limited areas and with highly concentrated ships, yields have dropped and sales of land products have fallen, so the fresh sector is ending the season.
The "yellow" fishing boats catching fresh shrimp. (Photo: courtesy of Revista Puerto)
The freezers, on the other hand, begin to sell all the production to Europe and Japan after a long slumber and the price improves due to the shortage; Therefore, they intend to take advantage of this new scenario by extending the season until at least October 15, a decision that is in the hands of the researchers since the reproductive process of the hubbsi hake could be affected within the closure. Antonio Solimeno and Federico Angeleri provided some details of the current situation and the expectations for the future, which are not looking good.
The low availability of the resource, with a long haul time for few tons, in addition to not being biologically recommended, is not very profitable. In 72 hours the fresqueros must return to port and some boats have done so without completing; "Last week one of our ships had to return with only 500 boxes," Antonio Solimeno, head of the company Solimeno Group, points out.
Sales of land products, especially block tails, are at a standstill, China is not buying and chambers are filling up. The other market that demands tails for reprocessing is Peru, which has been hit very hard by the pandemic and is not requiring product either. On the other hand, the price fell and today the L1 tail is selling at $ 6,800 when at the beginning of the season it had exceeded $ 8,000.
Low productivity and lack of sales, added to operational complications in the ports as a result of the pandemic; to the uncertainty generated by the autonomous decisions of governors and mayors; Due to the lack of awareness in the crews and the complexity added by some maritime unions, they cooperate to discourage the assembly of ships. On Friday they unloaded ten boats in the port of Mar del Plata and their owners are considering leaving them moored for the moment.
Freezing trawler catching shrimp (Photo: courtesy of Revista Puerto)
As for freezers, shipowners will seek to keep them active. They hope to improve productivity due to the removal of the fresqueros, added to the opening of a new fishing zone that was enabled last week; and they aspire to find shrimp in southern areas for which they have already requested a new survey.
In order to keep the fleet operational, they have also required the authority to evaluate the possibility of continuing to fish beyond October 1, as recommended by the INDEP's Hake Program. They want to take advantage of the moment of recovery in the European market or save on shrimp to face the coming months.
The year 2018 ended with 254,905 tons unloaded; In 2019 that figure fell to 215,642 tons and for this year it is not believed that 200 thousand tons can be reached (Photo: courtesy of Revista Puerto)
But the decision to keep the closed area for shrimp fishing open must be considered by the biologists in charge of Hake, since between the end of September and the beginning of October the reproductive process of the hubbsi begins within the closed season. Until now the deadline has never been respected and businessmen consider that the lower impact on the resource in this time-limited season should be weighed. A meeting with INIDEP has been requested to be held this week and in which the issue will be raised.
Sales in Europe, mainly in Spain and Italy, have been reactivated and the price improved, once again reaching $ 6,500 per ton. Buyers have run out of stock and are looking to stock up for the end of the year holidays. The same is happening in Japan, the other market that is demanding frozen shrimp.
At the moment the price in the Chinese market remains low, at a rate of $ 5,300 per ton. (Continue ...)
Author: Karina Fernández / Revista Puerto | Read the rest of the story by clicking the link here (Spanish)