Angel Rubio is Urner Barry’s Senior Analyst for UB Consulting, the company’s advisory services arm. His primary duties include performing custom research reports, develop quantitative and qualitative analysis on the protein commodity industry, and present findings to customers, as well as in conferences and webinars.
He joined Urner Barry in 2006 as a seafood market reporter, starting price quotations for main items like tilapia, mahi-mahi, pangasius, among others. Later, his duties expanded into overseeing existing monthly seafood insiders’ reports and the development of new ones. He was the first director of the newly created department “Urner Barry Analytics,” which oversees market and economic technicalities and data visualization of the company’s market insights. Angel produced the Mexican Beef Market report, a report that reports beef prices in Mexico.
From 2018 to February 2020, Angel worked as a senior category manager at Chicken of the Sea Frozen Foods, a Thai Union company, from July 2018 to February 2020. He has a BSc in Economics and International Business from Villanova University and a certificate in Data Science from Columbia University. He also holds diplomas from East China Normal University and the London School of Economics.
Angel forged vital alliances with trade associations abroad and directed all business development in Latin America from 2007 to 2018. Angel has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences domestically and abroad, including the Global Seafood Market Conference, Aqua India, Congreso Internacional de la Carne, Aqua Expo Ecuador, among many others.
|Session 1||State of the Industry – Understanding Markets And Consumers|
|Presentation||U.S. Shrimp Market: Outlook and Trends|
The U.S. shrimp market was severely hit by the pandemic throughout 2020 with regards to wholesale prices, primarily because of its exposure to the foodservice sector. Although numbers may vary depending on the analyst’s methodology, our estimates suggest that around 70% of all the shrimp consumed in the U.S. is sold to foodservice. Therefore, while many sellers were able to divert their stagnant foodservice sales to retailers, the shrimp market dependence on the foodservice sector impeded prices to rise throughout 2020. Furthermore, because each industry demands different product forms, purchase orders for more value-added shrimp increased. Our view is that Asian countries will still hold an advantage over Latin American producers due to their lower cost structure, flexibility, and large capacity to pack all sorts of product forms for the U.S. market.
However, as vaccine rollouts began in 2021, an already “pent-up” retail demand combined with a strong foodservice comeback in mid Q1, caused wholesale prices to accelerate rapidly. Such price acceleration was largely welcome by U.S. importers who had to deal with multi-year low prices in the wholesale market and significantly increased transportation and logistics costs. At the moment, prices remain strong and moving up relatively rapidly, although not as fast and not as high as they did during the EMS supply shock aftermath… at least not yet.
Our estimates suggest the shrimp market will continue to run hot at least into the end of Q3 and Q4 of 2021. Because disposable incomes grew considerably during the pandemic, eating habits changed, with many consumers upgrading their protein intake. Therefore, the long-term positive effects of shrimp consumption in the retail sector will be largely beneficial for the shrimp industry. However, inflation threats could slow down, not only wholesale prices, but ultimately prices to the consumer. If these fears materialize and a sizeable structural price change occurs, we could see some price stabilization and possibly adverse effects going into 2022.