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October 30, 2013

United States

California—Restaurants Worry About High Shrimp Prices


High shrimp prices will likely put a damper on restaurant profits this holiday season.  According to commodity tracker Urner Barry, prices in October 2013 rose 55 percent over 2012 for farm raised white shrimp, the most common species on restaurant menus.  Giant tiger shrimp prices increased 33 percent.  Market watchers estimate that shrimp prices could remain elevated for a year or more.


The limited supply comes as restaurants head into the holiday season, when shrimp is in demand for party menus.  It also comes at a time when competing commodities, like beef, are surging in price.


"The restaurant industry was getting by on chicken breast and shrimp, but now we’ve lost shrimp," said John Barone, president and commodities analyst for Market Vision Inc.  “We believe that we will be able to offset some of this pressure with slightly higher pricing, balancing our need to protect the guest traffic and protecting our margins,” said W. Douglas Benn, the Calabasas Hills, California-based company’s chief financial officer and executive vice president.


Logan Kock, vice president of purchasing for retail and wholesale supplier Santa Monica Seafood, based in Santa Monica, California, said it will likely be a couple of years before shrimp prices moderate, though pricing will drop somewhat after the high-demand holiday season ends in January 2014.  “It’s going to be a tight winter,” said Kock.  “I don’t know how much higher prices can go.”


Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  Restaurateurs Worry High Shrimp Prices Could Hurt Their Holiday Season.  Ken Coons (kencoons@seafood.com).  October 29, 2013.

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