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U.S. Tuna Prices 7% Lower On Imports

United States’ tuna imports show 8 tons and US$ 21 million decrease in 2009’s first trimester, which represents prices 7% lower for the goods, when compared with the same period of 2008.

The total amount of tuna imported this year was 70.505 M/T for a little over US$ 300 million.

Major items such as canned tuna -both retail and catering pack- which dropped from 44.140 M/T to 39.286 M/T, as well as tuna pouches, had close to 10% decrease in quantity during the same period.

In particular, canned albacore imports were down 23% from 7.297 M/T last year to 5.626 M/T in 2009 – the decrease in value was of only 1%. Albacore pouches imports, however, were down 20% in quantity and 35% in value – from US$ 6.104 per M/T to US$ 4.954 per M/T.

Unsurprisingly, fresh tuna imports, such as bigeye and yellowfin - mostly used in Japanese cuisine - also took part in 2009’s lower numbers. Quantities were lower by 12% and 18% respectively, while news are showing a shift in sushi restaurants from tuna and salmon to other fishes for that purpose.

Higher imports quantities are expected in January due to the quota system that takes place during that month, which explains the drop shown in the graph.