Welcome to the Spring Edition of our 2016 Quarterly Newsletter.  In this issue you will find a range of industry wide articles on seafood trends along with product information and a peek at a slice of Japanese culture.  Here are a few of the topics you can read about:

  • Our product spotlight focuses on Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Katsu Hamachi - the 2016 fillets are here!
  • Read why Chile is planning to restructure their salmon production
  • See what impact the Chilean Algal Bloom crisis has on the US salmon market
  • Take a look at Kagoshima, Japan's southern gateway to dining and relaxation 
  • Our shrimp articles look at the surge of shrimp export revenue in Vietnam and how Indonesia is helping to stabilize shrimp prices
  • And lastly, read our blog and get one perspective on the Seafood Expo North America (SENA) trade show held last month in Boston

We hope you enjoy this issue and as always, thank you for your continued support.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: 2016 Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Katsu Hamachi is Here      

Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Katsu Hamachi

We are pleased to welcome in the second season of our Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Katsu Hamachi.  To mark the arrival of the newly harvested and processed fish, we take this opportunity to unveil our new improved packaging.  It features a fresh design, clearly marked specifications and an added inner "mat" for better absorption and overall appearance.  

Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Katsu Hamachi

But other than the packaging, nothing has changed!  You'll get the same great sashimi quality yellowtail with all these features:

  • Wild caught and farmed in the cold waters of Japan 
  • Always processed exclusively from LIVE fish
  • Harvested only during the cold winter months for superior flavor and texture  
  • Consistent fillet color  
  • Available 2-2.5 kg and 2.5+kg/6 fillets per case 
  • Fully traceable from capture of the wild baby Hamachi (mojako) through farming, transport and processing
  • Core Frozen - Sushi Safe
               Crane Bay® Katsu Hamachi Crudo served with a scattering of pea vines and sliced radishes                                                           with chunks of daikon, stone fruit and avocado

               Crane Bay® Katsu Hamachi Crudo served with a scattering of pea vines and sliced radishes                                                           with chunks of daikon, stone fruit and avocado

Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Katsu Hamachi is available at all three of our warehouses in Los Angeles, Newark and Miami. And this season, our inventory will have ample supplies of fish weighing in at 2.0 kg  and up. So give your customers the opportunity to experience that "lively, fresh from the sea premium quality taste" they will discover when they try Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Katsu Hamachi.


RECIPE IDEA:  Zesty Katsu Hamachi in a Cucumber Nest

Crane Bay® Katsu Hamachi in a Cucumber Nest

Is your customer looking for an elegant and tasty appetizer idea for their menu?  First, create a "nest" of julienned English cucumber. Next, combine diced Crane Bay® Katsu Hamachi, minced ginger, scallions and red jalapenos then toss with soy ponzu.  Place the mixture into the center of the nest and serve.  

For more menu ideas, click on the links below:

PRODUCT VIDEO: Crane Bay® Sashimi Grade Katsu Hamachi

For additional information, pricing and samples, please contact your DNI Group Representative today. 



We often do product evaluations in our DNI Group test kitchen so it seemed timely to take a close look at one of the new Katsu Hamachi fillets. Jun Yako was the designated staff "sushi chef" and he did a masterful job. Enjoy these photos of his work - we certainly enjoyed the fruits of his labor!

  One loin completed, Jun removes the bones from the second loin       of the Katsu Hamachi fillet

  One loin completed, Jun removes the bones from the second loin of the Katsu Hamachi fillet

Here Jun trims the blood line from the second loin

Here Jun trims the blood line from the second loin

Voila!  Two beautiful Katsu Hamachi loins ready to enjoy for lunch

Voila!  Two beautiful Katsu Hamachi loins ready to enjoy for lunch

SALMON UPDATE:  Will tough 2015 prompt Chilean salmon restructure?

2015 was a disastrous year for Chilean salmon farmers, but the question now is, will the tough times prompt a restructure of the industry? This was the question put forward by Rabobank analyst Gorjan Nikolik at Marel's recent Salmon ShowHow event. Hard decisions need to be undertaken in Chile - chiefly to reduce production volumes - but with an expected improvement in profitability on the way this year, he wondered whether these decisions could end up delayed.  

There is a definite threshold of salmon production which, when crossed in Chile, brings sanitary issues and soaring production costs. Nikolik puts this threshold at around 650,000 metric tons; 2015 production was almost 800,000t.

In December 2015, Victor Hugo Puchi -- chairman of Chile's largest salmon farmer AquaChile - told local media the country's sector "begins to falter" when salmon producers exceed 600,000t. He called for authorities to cap production at 650,000t - a cut of about 30%, compared 2014's output of 890,000t.  Following these public declarations, several Chile salmon sources, who preferred to remain unnamed, told Undercurrent News major Chilean salmon players are encouraging the rest of the industry and the government to back a plan of "sharp cuts" in stocking densities.

A planned contraction in volume begins in the third quarter of 2016, said Nikolik, and noted that in November and December 2015 smolt releases across Chile fell both year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter, to below 13 million.

In 2017, there is likely to be a "significant decline" in Atlantic salmon production from Chile, as smolt releases fall. Data presented estimate a smolt release of around 130 million for the full year 2017, by which time the trend of declining smolt releases are yielding Atlantic salmon production of around 550,000t.

The stable supply in 2016, and considerable negative supply growth in 2017, should contribute to rising prices for Chilean salmon throughout the two years.  Costs should at least be stable, while on the market front Rabobank does not expect the strong Canadian and European supply to the US seen in 2015 to repeat in 2016.  "Also Brazil seems to be gradually picking up growth again. China is being developed further by the Chilean suppliers. Overall demand should be better in 2016."

"To improve the biological situation further, Chile still needs to make some major changes," Nikolik noted in his presentation. "Licenses need to somehow be reduced; more density rules, coupled with biological parameters [a traffic light system, similar to Norway, has already existed for a few years]."  Distance between farms must be regulated, he added. But, even with these rules, there will be too much capacity, he said.

"Chile has hired an economist to make a model based on current production and license ownership; they want to reduce the production capacity to avoid the boom bust cycle. But things need to be become very bad in Chile for the industry to be able to make the hard decisions."

Analysts favor consolidation as a key solution to Chile's sanitary woes; mostly based on the success in the Faroe Islands, where a consolidation from 14 companies to two was followed by huge gains in productivity.

They're needed: after a profitable 2014, Chile's salmon farmers fell into losses again in 2015

- Taken from UndercurrentNews.com February, 2016

U.S. Salmon Market Braces for Impact from Chile's Shortfall

As the salmon industry carefully watches the Chilean algal bloom crisis unfold, many are bracing for a salmon shortage and high prices especially in the US market.

Unfortunately, the lack of supply will come even as US demand for salmon climbs.  The demand is still out there and the US consumers will continue to buy salmon across the country says Gianfranco Nattero, managing director of sales and marketing in the Americas at Marine Harvest.  "Demand is already higher than supply, which will be the case this year and probably next year.  This will likely push prices up."   It is also thought that some buyers who normally purchase salmon at lower prices won't be able to justify the higher prices that are coming down the pipeline and may switch to other seafood and or even other proteins.

And therein lies the salmon suppliers' greatest fear - that high prices will impact consumption growth.

Sector Consolidation

Amid this situation, Chilean algal bloom is stirring up the old issue in the aquaculture business in the country - sector consolidation - and is making it obvious that the industry should look toward a new growth model.  

Fernando Araya, director of Rabobank in Chile and head of the new office of mergers and acquisitions advisor firm Antartica, said the industry should emulate the Norwegian industry model.  "After so many years of diverse debate, there is consensus in Chile regarding the need for a change in the growth model of the salmon farming industry in the country.  As happens in Norway, the possibilities of growth should be regulated accordance to the conditions, without allowing the big steps we make in Chile, which lead to huge volatilities and causes the section to grow from 15 to 30 percent in a year, and to fall the same proportion the next one," Arya said.

A note on Algal blooms

According to industry experts, Algal blooms are very complex natural phenomenon that require favorable environmental conditions for their development.  It is due to the high temperatures caused by El Nino that an exceptional bloom of algae is affecting Chile's Region X. 

"To claim that the industry could have foreseen the current algal bloom in terms of magnitude and spread is wrong and reflects little knowledge about the nature of the phenomenon, statistically and biologically.", according to Salmon Chile's Technological Salmon Institute.

Although companies have put contingency plans in place, it is not always possible to avoid mortalities due to the exponential development of the situation and the logistics needed for an effective reaction.  On this occasion, algae densities have exceeded 3,000 times the levels considered harmful for salmon.

Unfortunately, algal blooms are natural catastrophes.

- Taken from Intrafish.com March, 2016

SALMON REPORT: March Report - Data from January 2015


Dining and Relaxing at Japan's Southern Gateway  

Located at the southernmost point of Kyushu Island, Kagoshima bills itself as the southern gateway to Japan. Boasting a distinct culture, unique food and volcanic climes, the region offers an array of sights and flavors to be enjoyed.  Luckily for travelers, the launch of the Kyushu Shinkansen train line connecting Kagoshima with mainland Japan makes it easier than ever to get to Kagoshima quickly, comfortably and in style.

Relaxing Kagoshima Style 

Kagoshima offers an array of sights to see, places to relax and delicious foods to enjoy. To the north of Kagoshima City lies Sengan-en Garden.  Built in 1658, it is the former villa of the Shimazu family. The scenic spot overlooks the coast and beautifully frames Sakurajima-the local, well-known volcano that usually belches small puffs of volcanic smoke into the area once a day and alone attracts hordes of visitors to the area. 

                                                                                Sakurajima erupting

                                                                                Sakurajima erupting

For sheer relaxation, the many hot springs that dot Kagoshima are hard to beat. The city and surrounding area are so blessed with hot springs that the bulk of the local public baths also rely on water from the springs. Sand baths are another benefit of living close to a hot spring zone that should not be missed. Instead of water, here one can "bathe" in naturally heated sand.

                             LEFT: Hot springs in Kagoshima. RIGHT: The sand bath      warms bathers to the core.

                             LEFT: Hot springs in Kagoshima. RIGHT: The sand bath warms bathers to the core.

A Stunning Variety of Delicious Food

After a soak in the water or sand, there is a stunning variety of local food to savor.  Kurobuta pork, literally "black pig," is served in a number of ways from fried and boiled to the popular shabu shabu lightly dipped into simmering soup.  Interestingly, locals named roppaku kurobuta ("six whites") after the six white spots typically found on a pig's nose, tail and feet. Though not as famous by comparison, Kagoshima beef is also renowned for its flavor. 

  Kurobuta pork sahbu-shabu. Thin slices of  rose-colored pork are waved back and forth   in simmering soup, then dipped in raw egg. 

Another culinary standby is what is known locally as tsukeage, fried fish cakes-although the rest of Japan knows the dish as satsumaage, since Satsuma is the historical name of the region. It frequently contains carrots, burdock root or sesame seeds and is enjoyed a number of ways: raw, lightly roasted or dipped in a mix of wasabi (Japanese horse radish) and soy sauce.

Likewise, kibinago is a signature traditional Kagoshima treat. In season in May, June, December and January, these small white fish are delicious whether fried, dried or served as sashimi, and dipped in some sumiso, or vinegar miso (soybean paste). Caught at night, delivered to restaurants first thing in the morning and served by the afternoon, the fishes' freshness is discerned by translucency-the more translucent the fish, the fresher and more delicious it is.

Finally, no Kagoshima meal would be complete without imo-jochu, a type of shochu spirit distilled from sweet potatoes. Experts say that it goes well with any food, especially the sweet and spicy dishes prevalent in Kagoshima cooking. Shochu has a history of at least 500 years in Kagoshima and there is a vast selection to choose from.

Also be sure to save room for dessert, as Kagoshima is no slouch when it comes to sweets. One can elect to punctuate a meal with any of the local sweets made from sweet Satsuma potatoes or possibly a spongy karukan, a white steamed sweet made of high-quality yams, powdered non-glutinous rice and sugar.

   From left, brands of imo-jochu, distilled liquor made from sweet potatoes; satsumaage, a snack of seasoned          and deep-fried fish paste; freshly caught kibinago served as sashimi; karukan, a slightly sweet Japanese                                                                      confectionary with a light, fluffy texture.

   From left, brands of imo-jochu, distilled liquor made from sweet potatoes; satsumaage, a snack of seasoned          and deep-fried fish paste; freshly caught kibinago served as sashimi; karukan, a slightly sweet Japanese                                                                      confectionary with a light, fluffy texture.

At the south end of Japan's main islands, Kagoshima offers a bounty of enjoyment for travelers. From beautiful scenery and hot springs to the local food culture including meat, fish, sweet potatoes, confectionaries and shochu spirits - all are now easily experienced with the opening of the Kyushu Shinkansen rail service.

-  Taken from Trends in Japan

SHRIMP UPDATE:  Slowdown in Indonesia Shrimp Production Helping to Firm Prices

Indonesia is the largest shrimp producer in the southern hemisphere, and historically, December to February is the peak production period due to weather and growth patterns.  Because of this, Indonesia is often the largest supplier to the US during the first half of the year, while India, which produces most of its shrimp from March to November, is the primary supplier for the second half of the year.

Since mid-September, the Urner Barry white shrimp price index has risen about 16%.  In four out of the five years from 2011 to 2015, prices declined from January to June, as shrimp production came on line, first from Indonesia, and then from other producers. The sole exception was in 2013, the year the shortfall from EMS disease hit US importers very hard.

So far this year, prices have shown no declines, and given the slowdown in Indonesia, this is likely to continue for several more months.  Prices have been firming in anticipation of a slow- down and it has likely arrived.

Shrimp did not grow to the sizes projected in indonesia this year due to EHP being widespread in many ponds.  This disease does not kill shrimp outright, but it slows their growth and reduces the volume of larger size shrimp.  Farmers have to harvest these shrimp at smaller sizes because they won't grow larger, even if they keep being fed, making the feed conversion ratios unacceptable. 

Retailers generally make their commitments for the holidays through the Superbowl in mid to late summer, and given the strength of shrimp sales both at foodservice and retail, it is likely that inventories coming into the spring are going to be fairly lean. 

Industry reports and data support the idea that the slow-down in Indonesia has contributed to a firming price for large shrimp, and that the supply situation is not likely to change until other major producers such as India and Thailand begin their heavy exports later this spring.

- Taken from SeafoodNews.com February, 2016

SHRIMP REPORT: VASEP Estimates Vietnam's Shrimp Export Revenues to Surge 12% to US$3.3 Billion in 2016  

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) forecasts that shrimp exports will reach 3.3 billion USD in 2016, up 12 percent from 2015.

The sector saw a surge in the first month of this year, up 8 percent from the same period last year, according to VASEP.

Shrimp prices also saw a slight increase of 5-20 percent in the Mekong Delta region due to low supplies.

Statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs showed that shrimp exports to the US generated 657 million USD in 2015, up 38.3 percent from 2014, making the US the largest import market of Vietnam.

Vietnam's shrimp exports to the US in 2016 will rise thanks to positive results from the ninth administrative review (POR9) for anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese frozen shrimp and the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The average anti-dumping tariff rate levied on most Vietnamese frozen shrimp sold in the US market plummeted from 6.37 percent in the POR8 to 0.91 percent, as regulated in POR9. This has eased the tax burden on Vietnamese shrimp exporters.

In addition, the US's growing demand for Vietnamese shrimp, spurred by the rising dollar, will increase shipments. Rising demand has also resulted in vibrant shrimp retail promotions in the US, creating opportunities for Vietnamese shrimp suppliers to boost exports to the country.

In 2015, Vietnamese shrimp was sold in 92 markets, down from 150 markets the previous year.

Key markets included the US, Japan, the EU, China, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Australia, ASEAN and Switzerland.

- Taken from Seafoodnews.com February, 2016