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European Buyers Fill Gap Caused By Lower USA Tuna Demand

Sales of tuna from this city, producer of Central Mindanao’s top export product, posted double-digit year-on-year growth last month, both in terms of volume and value, data obtained over the weekend showed.

Tuna products sold overseas rose to 8.3 million kilograms worth $22.7 million in January, from 7.2 kg worth $20.3 million in the same month last year, data sourced from the office here of the Bureau of Customs showed.

Mariano M. Fernandez, president of the Tuna Canners’ Association of General Santos, had earlier said that while the sector suffered slower demand from the US orders from Europe and other regions have filled the gap.

Still the top product, but …

For the full year 2008, canned tuna products remained the top exports of Central Mindanao, shipping out $288.7 million, compared with $179.3 million in 2007, separate data from the office here of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) showed.

Other major exports, however, recorded a contraction last year.

Next to canned tuna last year was canned pineapple, whose sales plunged 86% to $90 million from $167.7 million in 2007.

In third place was crude coconut oil, which dropped 16.4% to $80.6 million from $96.5 million.

Frozen round/processed tuna products were fourth, dipping 13% to $49.8 million from $57.8 million.

Europe has dislodged the US as the number one market of goods from Central Mindanao.

In 2008, value of the top 20 products from Central Mindanao that landed in Europe stood at $242.5 million, while the US accounted for $174.2 million, Philexport data showed.

In 2007, exports to the US were pegged at $237.2 million, while Europe had $161.6 million, according to the same data.