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December 12, 2014

United States

Retailers Expect Big Shrimp Sales Over Holidays


John Sackton, editor and part owner of, an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service that’s association with Urner Barry Publications, reports that USA retailers have made a big bet on shrimp for the holidays, and he thinks that’s very positive for USA shrimp importers going into 2015.


Based on Urner Barry data, Sackton said:


For the week of December 8th, the second week after the Thanksgiving Holiday, retail shrimp promotions in 2014 were up 61% over the same week in 2013.  At the same time, the promotions for other seafood—fresh and frozen fillets, and fresh Atlantic salmon—were down by 11% and 5%, respectively, indicating that retailers are making a big bet on shrimp.


Sackton said: “To substantiate this, we looked at all retail seafood promotions for October and November to see if the December data was an anomaly, especially since we were looking at promotions for only a one week time frame.  We found that for the two-month period, the same pattern was present.  Retail promotions of shrimp for October and November were up 35%, salmon was up 9%, and frozen fillets were down 7%.  So the bet on shrimp during the first week in December is not an aberration, but a direction retailers have been moving in for months.”


“Further, they are selling shrimp at higher prices.  Cooked shrimp, for example, have a median promotional price of $10.99 this December, compared to a median promotional price of $9.99 last year.”


“This shows that retailers have adjusted their pricing upwards, even as their wholesale cost for cooked shrimp purchased between July and October fell 2.5%.  On a monthly basis, retailers were paying 7.5% less in November for cooked shrimp than at the same time in the prior year.”


“So shrimp promotions are definitely providing better margins to retailers this season, and they are attempting to make up some of the margin they gave up after the run up in shrimp prices last year.”


“With total USA shrimp imports up 12% for the year, the push to sell more volume at retail means that if holiday sales are healthy, there will not be a big inventory carryover going into the spring.”


“Commodity price movements, generally move in one direction until something changes the situation.  Currently, major shrimp buyers have been very cautious about placing orders because prices have been decreasing, and they don’t want to get stuck with high-cost inventory.”


“A good holiday sales season could change that outlook, and bring buyers back into the market.  This is exactly the kind of factor that can lead to a change in market dynamics.  The indications of the retail push to sell more shrimp at higher prices, along with the positive economic signs in the USA, like lower gasoline prices, must be seen as good news for shrimp producers and sellers going into 2015, when supplies are expected to increase further.”


“After hitting the lowest USA per capita consumption of shrimp in more than a decade in 2013, it certainly appears that consumption will rebound in 2014, and possibly beyond.”


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  Retailers Banging Out Shrimp for the Holidays, as Promotional Volume, Prices Both Up Significantly.  John Sackton.  December 11, 2014.

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