What Is the Market Price of Seafood?

By
Nicole Georgiev
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As you look through a menu at a restaurant, you’ll likely come across the term “market price” which can differ from the wholesale price. Some assume that this means the item is going to be expensive. It’s common for restaurants to use the term whenever they’re specifying freshly caught seafood. The cost of lobster, fish, and seafood, even wholesale seafood online, can vary based on its size, the season, and more. So what does market price mean for wholesale seafood? Keep reading to find out.

Market prices have grown in popularity as chefs want to showcase the exclusivity of various steak cuts and seafood. It’s also a way for restaurants to avoid sticker shock. If you don’t add the market price to the menu, consumers can oftentimes get skeptical. They can assume that you’re just trying to make extra profit from their business. This profit can be determined when you understand the margin definition.

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What Is Bulk Fish Market Pricing? 

Restaurants can sometimes omit the prices on their menus and replace them with the market price. The market price is the price of the dish, and it can depend on the market price of the ingredients. Market price is driven by both supply and demand, which 2022 food trends exert influence over. It’s commonly used for seafood like oysters, scallops, lobster, crab, and more. 

Some restaurants will use market pricing for other seasonal items. These can include fruits and meats. However, it’s commonly used to show that the price of the seafood that is being offered is determined by many factors, including the wholesale directory they order from.

In most cases, restaurants won’t charge the flat-out market price for the fish or seafood they offer. They’ll add on the cost to make the meal on top of the seafood bulk sale price for a profit margin. 

What Does Market Price Mean for Seafood?

Seafood and meals that include seafood might not have a price on the menu. This is because the price of fish changes often. The amount can vary depending on where the restaurant gets the fish and the species. It all comes down to supply and demand. If a fisherman catches an excess amount of crab this week, the price for crab will likely drop. However, if fewer catches are made, then the price will increase. High demand products will typically sell for more money. This is where demand planning can come in handy.

Fish markets tend to depend on the quality and amount of the haul on a weekly basis. Due to this, they feel the change of supply and demand the most. Market pricing specifics can vary by location. If a marketplace has different fish vendors, they’ll have to compete for the best catch and best price. This can also occur with meat wholesale.

The Sea-Ex Commercial Fish Market has a website that lists prices for various markets around the world. These can range from Asian fish markets to ones in Australia and even New England. The prices give restaurants an opportunity to alter their menus and/or create more offerings based on the market price for the week. 

Seafood Wholesale Price List

As mentioned above, the market price can vary based on location. US Foods offers seafood pricing trend updates each week. Here is some of their seafood wholesale price list from the week of 1/28/22:

Shrimp

Domestic Shrimp

Whites and Browns: the pricing has moved to a steady tone. 

Domestic PUDs

Vendors reported that the pricing has moved to a steady tone. 

Imported Shrimp

Black Tigers and Whites: Table pricing is reported by Urner Barry. It’s expected that the inventory will continue to improve.

Mexican Browns and Whites

There are reports of a lack of inventory and firmer prices by Urner Barry. 

Argentine Red

Urner Barry reports state that prices are stable despite there being firm inventory. 

Domestic Catfish

Production is challenging as a result of labor issues. There are a few vendors that are allocating products. Reports state that the prices are steady this week. 

Imported Catfish

Reports show slightly higher pricing. 

Salmon

Atlantic Farmed Salmon shows stable week-over-week prices for frozen portions. Higher pricing is seen on fresh fillets and whole fish. This trend will likely continue through Valentine’s Day.

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Mahi-Mahi

There has been a significant jump in pricing in January. Even though production is in full force now in South America, there are some declines. Analysts believe that Mahi will be a good opportunity in Q1. 

Scallops

Sea Scallops

Markets shop stable prices for frozen sea scallops. The price is expected to firm up during Q1 due to continuing strong demand and limited supply. U-10 scallops are very tight. Fresh scallops are on a rise in all sizes. 

Bay Scallops

Prices are moving steadily. 

Tilapia

January prices have moved up due to raw material pricing and ocean freight. 

Pangasius

High pricing is seen and shortages are likely in Q2. 

Whitefish

Cod

Prices have gone up significantly in January. This is due to higher raw material costs as well as inflated ocean freight costs. 

Pollock

Significant price increase in January due to elevated ocean freight costs and raw material. 

Haddock

Prices have increased in January as a result of expensive ocean freight costs and raw material costs. 

Flounder

Vendors have reported inflated ocean freight and raw material costs in January which have resulted in elevated flounder costs in January. 

Yellowfin Tuna

Tuna has had poor catch rates. This could eventually lead to shortages. Prices have gone up significantly during the month of January. This is for both frozen steaks and loins. 

Swordfish

Pricing is stable and the inventory levels are quite good. 

King Crab

Red and golden king crab inventory are low and the prices have been higher than usual. The Red King Crab season has been canceled in Alaska for 2022. 

Crabmeat

Blue swimming crab prices are on a rise and inventory is tight. Red swimming crab prices are stable, but the inventory is also short. 

Snow Crab

There are still no offers for Alaskan snow crab. For Canadian Snow Crab, the prices and inventory are coming up. 

Lobster

North American Lobster

The prices should remain stable for the next week. Large lobster tails are in short supply. 

Lobster Tails in Warm Waters

Stable pricing is reported.

Lobster Meat

Prices are stable. 

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Fisherman's Market Seafood Outlet Prices

Fisherman’s Market is located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It’s a wholesale seafood market and is part of Fleet Fisheries. They distribute thousands of pounds of bulk fish and seafood worldwide on a daily basis. Due to this, they’re able to bring their clients the finest quality seafood. 

They don’t just offer high-quality seafood, but also competitive prices. They post their market prices and update them on a weekly basis. The prices include their weekly deals, sauces, and more. 

Here are some prices for the week of January 25, 2022: 

  • 10/20 Dry Sea Scallops: Special price of $20.99 per pound
  • Tuna - Grill Grade: $10.99 per pound
  • Canadian Salmon Fillet: $11.49 per pound
  • Frozen Norwegian Salmon: $5.77 per pound
  • Fresh Monkfish Fillet: $7.99 per pound
  • Frozen Octopus: $5.99 per pound
  • Firm Shell Lobster: $8.99 per pound
  • Live Jonah Crab: $2.99 per pound
  • Frozen Snow Crab Clusters: $28.99 per pound
  • 6-8 Jumbo Shrimp Raw: $16.99 per pound
  • 31/40 PUD Raw All-Natural Shrimp: $6.99 per pound
  • Oysters: $1.00 each
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