Expectations for the octopus season have diminished as the fishing sector faces sudden changes. The price of octopus at the beginning of the season ranges from 75 to a maximum of 90 pesos in certain coastal areas of Yucatán. Operational expenses are putting pressure on local fishermen who travel up to 500 kilometers offshore daily.
There are two reasons for this situation. Firstly, fishing volumes have decreased by 50% compared to the first week, forcing fishermen to venture farther offshore to maintain the same price.
Secondly, there has been no international market demand for mollusks, causing issues for fishermen who were hoping to export to Europe and the United States. This information was reported by the Mexican Confederation of Fishing Cooperative Societies.
The president, José Luis Carrillo Galáz, highlighted that the lack of international market demand is a major concern for the sector. The decrease in octopus availability during the initial weeks is considered normal, and the true capture situation will only be evident in the second half of the month.
Nevertheless, the absence of international market options is directly affecting the current price of octopus, which ranges from 75 to 90 pesos per kilo. Ideally, the price should be at least 100 to 120 pesos per kilo.
It’s worth noting that some frozen food processing plants still have frozen stock from the previous year. While there is currently fresh product available, the absence of international market demand for the food will likely lead to a significant price drop, adversely affecting local fishermen.
Carrillo Galáz pointed out that the strongest market for the Yucatán fishing sector is the international one, followed by sales to other states within the country, and finally local sales. The latter provides the lowest dividends for this group.
He expressed hope that both Europe and the United States will start purchasing octopus caught along the Yucatán coast. This would lead to the release of last year’s frozen stock and the introduction of fresh product for the current season. Consequently, the price per kilo of octopus would rise significantly from the current range of 75 to 80 pesos per kilo.