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U.S. Fresh Yellowfin Imports Keep Growing Despite High Prices United States, August 3, 12

The demand for fresh yellowfin tuna in the U.S. was exceptionally high last year, accounting for 93% of the country's fresh tuna imports. The market continues to dominate the other tuna species and since 2006, the volume of fresh yellowfin imports has grown by 22% to reach 18,800 M/T.
Despite the higher prices in the last year - fresh and frozen yellowfin tuna steaks and loins have increased in price by about 40% due to limited supply and fierce competition - it seems American consumers are willing to pay more for the upscale item of sashimi.
Back in 2006, 4,900 M/T of fresh bigeye tuna were delivered to the American market, accounting for 19% of the country's fresh tuna imports. The result of overfishing on the at-risk species ultimately led to the dramatic drop in bigeye import volumes - 2% in 2011 - over the five-year period. The endangered and highly prized bluefin tuna, on the other hand, completely disappeared from U.S. restaurants and sushi bars in 2011.
Overall, the total volume of fresh tuna imports in the U.S. declined by 20% from 2006 to 2011. Last year, the U.S. imported 20,200 M/T of fresh tuna.