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Significantly Less Japanese Skipjack Catch Moving To Bangkok

Japan, one of the skipjack supplier to the Thai tuna canning industry, shipped about a third less in frozen whole round skipjack tuna to Thailand last year compared to 2011.

In 2012, Japan’s export volume of frozen whole round skipjack to Bangkok dropped by 33% to hit 23,927 tons. Compared to three years ago, this volume is a decrease of about 50%.
The declining Japanese exports is one contributing factor to Thailand’s overall shrinking supply of skipjack raw material, which declined to 514,000 tons last year (down by 19% from 2011). As the world’s largest tuna producer, the Thai industry depends on big fishing nations such as Japan, Taiwan, the U.S. and Korea, because it doesn’t have its own fleet of purse seiners.
Lower catches and therefore shortages of raw material, as well as high raw material prices, could explain the smaller Japanese exports, which have also been declining overall in recent years. In 2012, its total export volume of frozen whole round skipjack tuna dropped by about 40% to hit 27,286 tons.

Japan is also still recovering from the tsunami that devastated the country’s tuna industry and fleet in 2011. Losses to the fishing industry in the disaster zone reached more than USD 14.8 billion, leaving over 300 fishing ports and 22,000 boats damaged.
In the past Japanese peak supplies of lower quality “Kinkai “ skipjack could result in falling prices in Bangkok, however over the last few years this effect has almost disappeared.
Japan supplied about 7 to 8% of Bangkok’s total raw material uptake in 2012.