The market or A. japonica is not so good for the Asian traders at the moment. There is good production of A. japonica in Taiwan, South Korea, China and Japan. Already 35 tonnes has been caught and the season still has some weeks to run. This compares with the total production of 15-20 tonnes for last year.
The price of A. japonica is now 550,000 JY per kilo. Last year for a short time prices were greater than 2.500,000 JY per kilo. Even taking into account the quite severe currency fluctuations this is a significant price change. With fixed costs of eel production being virtually the same for all species you can now see why farmers are not interested in risking an investment in minor species with uncertain outcomes such as bicola, mozambica or mormorata.
There has been virtually no glass eel trade with A.rostra in the last two weeks. Though regrettably there is still some trade with A. anguilla. I think we should expect a significant price drop of Chinese eels ex farm. Currently prices are at 120 rmb per kilo (20 USD). At the moment the eel viewed very much as a luxury product in China. A fall in price will return the market to a more normal situation and make the product available to a much greater market.
Peter Wood for UK Glass Eels.