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EU Canners Import Record Amount Of Pre-cooked Loins European Union, March 28, 13

During the first 12 weeks of 2013 EU canners, mostly in Spain and Italy, have imported a record amount of 17,378 M/T pre-cooked loins from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and China. On average imports of frozen pre-cooked loins have been at 1,420 M/T weekly – equal to about 55 40ft reefer containers.
In total, European canners are allowed a duty-free quota of 22,000 tons annually. This quota was established to support the EU tuna processing industry, which is mostly located in Spain, but also in Italy, France and Portugal. Due to high labor costs within the EU, canners have argued that they can only survive and compete by importing cleaned and pre-cooked tuna from low wage countries.
EU canneries already had the opportunity to import frozen pre-cooked tuna loins from GSP+ or ACP countries, such as Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, Mauritius and others free of any duty. However the volume available from these “duty free” nations, which meet the “rules of origin” was found insufficient to support the urgent need of the EU based industry.

With only 4,622 M/T quota left, and 186 M/T awaiting location, its seems likely that within the next 3-4 weeks the total amount of 22,000 M/T will be exhausted. From the beginning of May 2013 onwards the dependency of EU processors will again be largely on Ecuador’s exports of pre-cooked loins.