Prawn Prices At An All Time High As Adverse Weather Conditions Decimate Supply

  •  prawnIncreases of up to 15% reported by suppliers
    •    Importers in Europe currently have little to no stock left
    •    Popular prawn cocktail to be more expensive this Christmas

The price of prawns has reached an all time high and will remain high into 2017 making Christmas cocktails more expensive this year, according to purchasing company, Beacon.

Increased pressure on supply and extreme global weather conditions have meant seafood suppliers have seen prawn price increases of up to 15% in the last three months, with black tiger prawns now 40% more expensive than some other species. The knock on effect is likely to be seen in Christmas menus this year as hospitality firms are forced to react to the lack of supply and the higher prices.

Beacon’s leading seafood suppliers, M&J Seafood and Direct Seafoods, report price increases at source due in part to Vietnamese production being far below usual levels following a drought in the Mekong delta earlier this year. Additionally, low harvests in China have caused substantial increases in local demand for prawns, which has reduced supply for European importers and kept prices at record highs.

Farmers are continuing to switch from black tiger prawns to the vannamei species, with black tiger currently 40% more expensive than its lower cost alternative – although this is not predicted to last as more pressure is put on vannamei supply. Furthermore, coldwater prawns have seen a quota cut of 42% in Canada, which is equivalent to a reduction of more than 20,000 tonnes.

Emma Warrington, Senior Food Buyer at Beacon, said:

“At the moment, suppliers are doing everything in their power to mitigate price increases for the end consumer, however with the pressure likely to continue into next year it’s only a matter of time before these price increases are passed on, meaning the classic Christmas prawn cocktail could be more expensive this year.

“The stock position for prawns in the EU market is currently incredibly low. Temperatures of up to 40 degrees in Bangladesh and Vietnam, two of the main producers of black tiger prawns have led to high mortality rates. This combination of low supply and increased demand has meant that prawn prices have rocketed to an all time high.”