As the catch in most squid fishing production areas continues to be sluggish, the squid inventory in Japan at the end of May has fallen below 40,000 tons, a decrease of 7% compared with the previous month, and this data has reached a record low.
Compared with the same period last year, Argentina and South Korea, which are Japan's main squid exporters, have significantly reduced their exports to Japan in the first half of this year.
The shortage of raw material supply may seriously affect Japanese squid processing and production. The current season is supposed to be the peak season for squid fishing and production, but the amount of squid caught in the North Pacific and the seas of Japan is worrying. The benchmark inventory of squid about 10 years ago was 100,000 tons. In recent years, this standard has declined and has been set at 70,000-80,000 tons. Even when the inventory standard tends to decline, stocks of less than 40,000 tons in summer are still considered abnormal.
As of the end of May, the inventory of common squid categories, including Argentine squid, was 17,226 tons, which was a decrease of more than 10,000 tons compared with 27,919 tons in 2015. Generally speaking, stocks will continue to decrease in June and July, and the low catch will make the situation of low stocks more obvious.
Due to the shortage of raw materials, squid processing enterprises are facing production stagnation and poor income. The Japan Squid Processing Enterprise Federation plans to request the government to expand the import quota to make up for the shortage of squid fishing in the country. This request has been verbally communicated to the fishery department, and an official application will be filed with the government in the form of official documents in the short term.
On the surface, this year's consumption rate seems to be very low, but relevant information shows that procurement contracts have actually been increasing. According to informed sources, if overseas fishing conditions improve, the industry will consider handling unexpected demand orders by themselves.