North American buyers are puzzling over chum salmon prices, as a slim Alaskan harvest has led to short supplies of a fish usually considered the economic substitute, reports Rob Reierson in Tradex Foods’ latest market insight.

The Alaskan harvest wound up far lower than was expected: of a total salmon haul of 156.2 million fish, 9.9m were chums – around half the forecast amount.

Buyers in sectors such as retail use chum as a substitute for sockeye, coho and Atlantic salmon, but recent shortages have pushed the market up, Reierson noted.

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