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Weaker Yen To Impact Australian Bluefin Exports

The southern bluefin tuna harvest has started and local tuna companies are preparing for the impact of the high Australian dollar on this season’s harvest.

Since September, the price of the Japanese Yen has weakened by 28 percent against the Australian dollar, meaning the biggest tuna market for local companies, in Japan, will provide 28 percent less income.

Australian southern bluefin tuna industry association chief executive officer Brian Jeffriess said the drop in income was a reality for the industry.

“These are the realities of export markets and all we can do is produce the best quality tuna and plan for the longer-term,” he said.

“We remain very dependent on the Japanese market and the value of the Yen.”

Mr. Jeffriess said freezer boats will arrive from late June when the tuna is in peak condition.

“That remains the strategy of the Australian industry. The catch for Australian tuna farms in 2013 is much lower than normal, and it is not clear what the final tonnage available for freezing will be.”

Mr. Jeffriess said there was only a small amount of quota being used for longer-term growout this season, where companies target seven-kilogram tuna and grow them over a three-year period.

“The market and currency instability is a disincentive to holding fish beyond one season at this stage,” he said.