Is there any way to make money on the scarcity of shrimp?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by garchbrooks, May 1, 2010.

  1. Gulf coast crisis and all. What's affected?
  2. zdreg


    The $250 steak's days are numbered on some of the area's finest menus as Japan has temporarily banned exports of its prized Wagyu beef.

    Japanese officials suspended beef exports last week after cows tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease at farms in the southern part of the country. That means no Japanese-imported Wagyu, the cattle breed that produces the premium beef famous for its flavor, tenderness and high price-tag.
    Where's the Beef?

    View Slideshow
    Bryan Derballa for The Wall Street Journal

    A ban means no more Japanese-imported Wagyu, the cattle breed that produces the premium cut beef famous for its flavor and tenderness and high price-tag -- up to $250 for a steak in New York.

    "Everyone that buys from us has called up and said, 'How much do you have left, lock it up for me?' " said George Faison, chief operating officer at De-Bragga & Spitler, a meat supplier in the Meatpacking District. "We only have 500 pounds left."

    Though a menu item on a select handful of restaurants in the region, chefs are bemoaning the loss of the pricey meat, sometimes referred to on menus as Kobe. "We buy beef from a distributor in Japan," said Oscar Martinez, chef at the Old Homestead Steak House. "It's going to affect us a great deal because we're known for Kobe. It's one of the more popular dishes, and we have regular customers and Japanese clientele that come to us just for that."

    Mr. Martinez, who hasn't heard from his supplier yet, said the restaurant stopped selling its Japanese steak over the weekend when news broke of the infected meat. Eating meat infected with foot-and-mouth disease doesn't harm humans, but the contagious virus can decimate animal populations.

    Mitchell Altholz, a chef at the Highlawn Pavilion and The Manor in West Orange, N.J., said he likes to use Japanese Wagyu as specials or for selective dinners. "It's just fabulous," he said. "You just can't experience anything like that. It melts in your mouth. We don't even give them a steak knife."

    Japanese beef represents a tiny fraction of the country's imported beef. Last year the U.S. imported 863,986 tons of beef; only 141 tons was from Japan, valued at $5.9 million, according to Brett Stuart, a partner at Global AgriTrends, a Denver-based research firm.

    Mr. Faison said he expects that if it's a small outbreak the ban will last three to six months. The silver lining, he said, is there could be more demand for American and Australian producers, which crossbreed Wagyu cattle with domestic cattle.

    Indeed, some Japanese restaurants say they have completely switched to domestic suppliers in recent years because it's more cost-effective. "We stopped getting it from Japan more than two years ago," said Yasuyuki Kojima, director of the Hakubai restaurant in Murray Hill. "Most Japanese restaurants don't buy from Japan anymore."

    Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto in the Meatpacking District, serves Wagyu beef from Japan, but said in a statement that it isn't a huge percentage of his business. "Furthermore, we have Australian Wagyu, U.S. Wagyu and U.S. prime beef available," he said.

    But Mr. Martinez said only Japanese Wagyu will do. "That's terrible stuff," he scoffed, when asked if he would substitute it during the temporary ban. "You can't compare it."

    Write to Sumathi Reddy at

    bottom line talk to a restaurant owner or email the person above. they may know something about the shrimp situation.
  3. Eddiefl


    Short Bubba Shrimp Inc.

    They are the 800lbs Gorilla in the market.

    You will find it at this index. (
  4. Interesting. I've never been able to bring myself to trade pork or cattle. Would love to short those markets out of existence, if possible. I was hoping the carbon trading markets growing would make those industries less profitable, but that hasn't happened.
  5. zdreg


    what your beef is with those markets?
  6. MGJ


    An Examination of the Shrimp Futures Market
    By Josué Martínez-Garmendia and James L. Anderson

    Two shrimp futures contracts have been traded in the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGE) since the beginning of the 1990's. At their inception, these two contracts were considered a significant development for seafood marketing. However, both contracts have suffered from poor trading interest. Such relatively lukewarm reception by the seafood industry can be explained by three circumstances. First, seafood markets in general, and the shrimp cash market in particular, are characteristically opaque. Opaque cash markets are incompatible with efficient and therefore attractive futures contracts. Second, the seafood industry appears to be reluctant to participate in more sophisticated markets. This leads to lack of liquidity in both shrimp futures contracts. And third, the design of the two shrimp contracts at the MGE is a considerable issue, as this exchange grouped shrimp varieties that are independently priced under similar contract specifications. These shrimp varieties cannot therefore be priced correctly within a single futures contract even with the implementation of discounts/premiums. These three factors, opaque cash markets, lack of liquidity, and a questionable contract design lead to poor hedging performance of both shrimp futures contracts. The poor hedging performance enhances the lack of attractiveness of the contracts and, therefore, reduces their liquidity even further. In conclusion, transparent cash markets and a more widespread awareness of the benefits of futures markets among seafood traders are a requirement to develop successful shrimp and potentially other seafood futures contracts. Also, the MGE should consider revising the composition of deliverable shrimp varieties within the two contracts.
  7. Scarcity of shrimp???

    Go to the grocery store and try to find (Wild Caught US shrimp) I've been trying for years!!!!! And I live in Florida .... Sure, you (may) find some frozen "US Farm Raised" shrimp. And oh ya, Emeril's frozen bags are wild caught (ain't he a coonass).... but like most things in the good old US of A we consume a hell of a lot more than we can produce.... So unless your operating or eating in a 3,4 or 5 star restorantore' (or a dive on the beach).... You can bet... your nawlin down on "Genuine Farm Raised" Or you guessed it, Chinese shrimp or maybe Vietnamese or Thaiwanese..... I doubt the amount of shrimp caught in this area of the Gulf of mexico could supply Red Lobster and Long John Silver's alone!!!

    If you want FRESH shrimp you better have a man on the dock when the boat comes in, or your own boat.. (contracted fleet)...

    If I depended on "fresh gulf shrimp" as a product of my livelihood (menu item) you could bet your ass I'd keep my eye on the size of the hundreds of oil spills in the gulf every year and have a backup plan already in place (like a Texas or Mexican boat). "Drill baby drill" would seem like a good idea if I were sitting in Ohio bitching about the price of fuel oil to heat my home in February... While I'm stuffing my face with "fresh Gulf Shrimp" watching the Super Bowl in Tampa...

    How could a guy profit from the rumor of a scarcity of shrimp? I'm not sure,,,(buy the rumor, sell the fact) ,,,Or maybe we could ask an Alaskan Prince Edward Sound Fisherman....

    Good Trading
  8. Just personal biases. I try not to eat other mammals, because I think their brain structure is similar to mine for processing emotions like fear. I kind of think I'm a little disgusted when people say "it tastes good", because I kind of think that if human meat tasted good, a lot of Americans would see no problem in eating it. The whole thing makes people seem like horrible, awful creatures to me.

    I view fish and poultry in less regard, but have never been able to make the full transition to veganism. Every time I try, I end up gaining a lot of weight and losing a lot of muscle. I also do not have enough time to plan and correctly implement a vegan diet.

    But to each his own. I'm not gonna come after you over your values (if they differ from mine). I can only do what I think is right and hope other people see the light in my approach.
  9. I will send Hannibal around to have a chat...make sure your utensils are clean as he will want a slice of the action.:D

  10. Yeah short Kraft (KFT). No need for mayonaisse. Heinz (HNZ) too as no need for ketchup.
    #10     May 1, 2010