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NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-AFSC-305

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Methods for the Alaska groundfish first-wholesale price projections: Section 6 of the Economic Status of the Groundfish Fisheries off Alaska


For a significant portion of the year there is a temporal lag in officially reported
first-wholesale prices. This lag occurs because the prices are derived from the Commercial Operators Annual Report which is not available until after data processing and validation of the data in August of each year. The result is a data lag that grows to roughly a year and a half (e.g., prior to August 2014 the most recent available official prices were from 2012). To provide information on the current state of fisheries markets, now-casting is used to estimate 2014 first-wholesale prices from corresponding export prices which are available at a shorter time lag. Now-casting provided fairly accurate predictions and displayed rather modest prediction error with most of the confidence bounds within 5-10% of the price. In addition, time series models are used to project
first-wholesale prices for 2015-2018. Resampling methods are used estimate a prediction density of potential future prices. Confidence bounds are calculated from the prediction density to give the probability that the prices will fall within a certain range. Prediction densities also provide information on the expected volatility of prices. As prices are projected past the current year the confidence bounds grow reflecting increasing uncertainty further out in the future.  An empirical example to projecting the prices
of pollock goods illustrates the methods. The full results of this research are published in the Status Report for the Groundfish Fisheries Off Alaska, 2014, provided to the North Pacific Fishery Management Council.

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