The Caribbean supply which was more than 10 tonnes this year has decreased as the season draws to a close. Market prices were low at the start of the season but have closed at more than 2000 USD per kilo. There will be a strong demand for A. rostrata when the season opens in the US. Perhaps prices will exceed 5000 USD this year?
The market for A. japonica has largely been fulfilled in Taiwan and Korea. However it is a different situation for mainland China which has been waiting for prices to fall at the end of the season. There is now a shortage of A. japonica .The opposite has happened. The China farms now have to pay double of what they could have purchased at the start of the new year when the price of A. japonica was a mere 9-10 rmb per piece. It is now 15 rmb per piece. Assuming a count of 5500 pieces per kilo that equates to 11500 Euros per kilo. Gold is currently 36,500 Euros per kilo.
The introduction of the tropical species for aquaculture has only been partially successful. There is still a little interest in Bicola. However, after three years of trials in Asia it has not been possible to successfully farm Mozambica. There was an incredible harvest of Mozambica this year. I have been given a report of one tonne being harvested in one night. There is no demand and most of the production has been frozen and for a time was being offered in Europe at 30 Euros per kilo. When it comes to regulating the trade it needs to be recognised that there is not a simple substitution between species.
Only about 3 tonnes of the 12 tonnes required in China have been purchased. There will be a strong demand for japonica and rostrata over the next 6 weeks. We expect our own fishery to continue to be targeted by criminal activity as in previous years to support this demand.