Mackerel prices soar for UK processors

UK FISH processors are contending with soaring prices for mackerel and herring, some of which they say will inevitably need to be passed further down the supply chain over the coming months.
Demand for mackerel is particularly strong in the Far East at the moment, which has resulted in Norwegian processors paying top prices to fishing boats. Compared to the same time last year, the first sale value of mackerel has increased by more than 60 per cent.
Ian McFadden of the Scottish Pelagic Processors Association said: ‘Mackerel prices are going through the roof at the moment and Scottish processors are embroiled in a very competitive market with the Norwegians to secure supplies.
‘Inevitably, due to supply and demand, this hike in the first sale value of the catch is unsustainable for our processing sector and prices will inevitably need to be passed down the supply chain.
‘However, it should be remembered that mackerel is still an incredible value-for-money fish, extremely tasty to eat and very nutritious.’
Mackerel for the UK market is mainly processed for canning and smoking, as well as some fresh.
Meanwhile, herring prices are also on the rise – about 40 per cent up on the same period last year. It is thought the underlying reason for this increase is the significant drop in the 2016 quota for the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock, putting pressure on supplies.