The ASPR canned pink production figures for 2005 suggest that canned product as a percentage of the total Alaska pink salmon pack is likely in the 54 ��� 56 percent range, down from 63 - 64 percent in 2003 and 2004 and significantly below the average of 75 percent between 1992 and 2002.
The product-form shift is significant both for its indication of strong frozen pink demand and for its impact on the canned pink supply. As demand for and production of frozen pink grows, the supply of raw material available for canned pink production is reduced accordingly. This is unlikely to be a factor this sales season, but may have important supply implications for the canned pink market over the longer term.
The record harvest of pinks in 2005 led to production of 3.6 million 48-tall case equivalent, even with pack composition at only 55 percent canned.�� That production and the September carryover inventory amounts to supply of 4.1 million cases, well above the five-year average sales volume of 3.2 million cases. If sales remain near the five-year average, carryover inventory in September 2006 would be around 900,000 cases.
However, if the product-form shift continues, pack composition from the 2006 pink harvest may be 50 percent (or less) canned salmon. With harvest projected at 108 million pinks, production would be about 2.3 million 48-tall case equivalent. With anticipated carryover of 900,000 cases, total supply for the 2006 sales season would be 3.2 million 48-tall case equivalent, equal to the five-year average sales volume.
This approximate match between supply and sales is not particularly remarkable, but does suggest that carryover canned pink inventory entering the 2007 sales season (18 months from now) may be zero. In light of the ongoing product-form shift to frozen, this could present a very significant supply issue.
With September 2007 carryover potentially at zero and pack composition at 50 percent (or less) canned, the total supply of canned pink from a typical 110-million-fish harvest would be around 2.4 million 48-tall case equivalent, well below average sales of 3.2 million cases.