Friday, July 25, 2014

Something's fishy in Alaska in the canned salmon market. Let's go to the graphs.

Another day, another easy pickin' economics lesson pulled from the headlines.

"Alaska Governor asks the Federal Government to buy Surplus Canned Salmon"

Gov. Sean Parnell has asked a federal agency to buy about 1 million cases of canned pink salmon to ease a glut that has weighed down prices for Alaska fishermen this year. 
Parnell made the request in a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week. He wants the USDA to purchase $37 million worth of canned pink salmon under a federal law that allows for buying surplus food from farmers and donating it to food banks or other programs. 
USDA purchased $20 million worth of salmon earlier this year, which Parnell called an important first step in reducing inventories to help slow a price decline that he said threatened the 2014 fishing season. 
He said remaining unsold inventories are driving prices to levels that threaten harvest activity this year and next, with the price of canned pink salmon 23 percent lower than a year ago and the advance price paid to fishermen down about 33 percent.
By purchasing the surplus canned salmon from Alaskan fish processors, the Governor is essentially asking for a de facto PRICE FLOOR be imposed on the market for Canned Salmon.

The thinking is this: Buy the surplus so the processors (1) don't have to unload it at lower prices (this is not mentioned in the article) and (2) the price the processors pay fisherman for their catch for the upcoming season will not decrease.  Easy, right?

Let's go to the graphs to see how this plays out.  Hope it helps you in understanding your lesson on this topic.







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