Prawn Shortage!

Oct 08, 2014

There is a global shortage of coldwater prawns and the supply situation is deteriorating by the day. In order to maintain continuity of supply we have had to agree to pay our suppliers significantly more for bulk raw material.

Background information

The cooked and peeled cold water market was moving up in early December 2013 which resulted in some significant price increases in the first few months of 2014. We had hoped things would stabilise as we moved into the spring but the reality is that this has not been the case and we now expect 2014 to be a very difficult year for coldwater prawns.

There are a few background issues to have in mind:

  • The problems started when farmed warm water product became seriously affected by the EMS disease in Thailand which resulted in a 25% loss in the world export market.
  • The warm water prices rose dramatically to a level that most major UK retailers decided to switch off on promotions of cooked warm water and increase purchases of cold water in order to promote for Christmas.
  • The knock-on effect of the retail changes was that the coldwater prawn stocks which would usually see us through quarter 1 productions have simply not been n there, meaning that we are waiting for new season fishing to start in decent volumes.

As a result of all these factors there have been a significant rise in raw material prices.

Drop in Coldwater Prawn Production

  • The CWP market between January and the end of May has continued to be short from Iceland who have experienced very poor fishing and reduced quotas.
  • The Greenlandic quota has been reduced and they have also seen a surge of sales into the brining industry in Europe, mainly Denmark, as the Canadian product has started to dry up.
  • Coldwater Prawn stocks from Canada had more or less dried up by October and there will be a severe shortage of Canadian prawns until the new season starts to land in Europe
  • The Canadian quota has just been cut by 20% so prices are expected to be high when they do arrive.

Risk of supply shortfall

There is simply not enough factory packed bulk input product for us to get ahead on productions, but we can assure you that we are doing our upmost to avoid letting any of our customers down over the coming months.

We would appreciate it if you could have the availability problems in mind when planning any new promotional activity in-house, so you can avoid pushing coldwater prawns for the next few weeks.

Price Problems

In conculsion our stocks in the UK are at a historically very low levels and the impact this has on prices will be immediate, all brands and specifications will be affected.


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