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Decline Of Italian Tuna Canning Industry Continues Italy, August 31, 12

Italy is showing increased dependence on other countries for its canned tuna supply. The country’s imports of pre-cooked, frozen tuna loins have been declining – which suggests its domestic production is down – while it experienced a record high in canned tuna imports last year.

Since 2006, Italian imports of canned tuna have grown by about 26%. Italy received an outstanding 87,500 tons – the largest volume in the five year period – and more than half of the products were shipped from Spain. Major Spanish companies, such as Calvo, Garavilla, JEALSA and FRINSA are exporting to Italy, where they mainly supply the private labels of supermarkets. The Italian canneries increasingly lose the competition with the Spanish plants.

Spain now controls 52% of the market and delivered 45,800 tons of canned tuna to Italy last year, which is a 10% increase from 2010. Calvo’s Nostoromo brand is second in the market behind the leading brand, Rio Mare, which is owned by Italy’s Bolton Group.

Colombia’s exports to Italy also significantly jumped last year – up 21% from 2010 – reaching a total volume of 9,700 tons. The developing South American country has duty-free access to the European market.

Seychelles did not perform as well in 2011, with its exports of canned tuna dropping by about 13% since the previous year. The small island country, located in the Indian Ocean, was especially hurt by the increased presence of piracy in its waters.