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Ecuador Forced To Buy More Korean And Taiwanese Tuna Raw Material
November 28, 2012, 04:18 PM
Ecuador’s fishing sector is seeing stronger profits, despite the warmer sea temperatures that have reduced the country’s tuna catches by 28% this year.

In the first nine months of 2012, Ecuador’s fishing industry was valued at USD 792 million, which is 23% higher than what was made in the same period in 2011. Most of this increase can be contributed to the higher market prices for tuna raw material.

At the same time, tuna catches for the South American nation have amounted to 150,000 tons, which is 30,000 less than previous years. The industry, as a result, has had to buy up to September a total of 200,000 tons of whole round tuna from Asian countries such as Taiwan and Korea in order to keep the canneries running. These imported raw material cannot be used for the duty free exports to the European Union.

Although the U.S. and European markets are the main destinations for Ecuador’s tuna exports, Latin American countries are starting to show huge potential.

Venezuela, for instance, is the leading importer in this region – accounting for 20% of the South American tuna market - with key companies such as Saefman, Nirsa, Salica, Galapesca and Isabel located here. In the first half of this year, Venezuela bought 3.5 million kilos of tuna from Ecuador at a value of USD 15 million.

Mexico is another important country for Ecuador, as Ecuador has become its top supplier of skipjack tuna. From January to May, sales were about USD 300,000.

Brazil and Argentina are also two growing markets, according to an Ecuadorian tuna industry member. Brazil, for example, is expected to become a major tuna-consuming nation within five years; its fish consumption per capita is also expected to grow by a kilo in 2021, which is double the growth expected for Latin America.

Source: (atuna.com)
Kim Thu
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