Bangkok skipjack prices drop to two-year low

A fisherman loads tuna fish

Republished from: Under Current News

Skipjack tuna prices for July delivery in Bangkok, Thailand, have fallen to $1,350 per-metric-ton, industry sources told Undercurrent News on July 22.

This is the lowest price level since February 2016, according to Undercurrent’s prices portal, but prices in Bangkok are expected to decrease further, according to sources.

“Bangkok seemingly likely to drop much lower. Some are already talking of $1,250,” one US source noted.

“I have $1,350/t today. But $1,250/t is said to be the trend,” another EU source confirmed.

“[Prices in] Bangkok are already being negotiated lower than $1,350/t, and $1,250 may be closer to the mark,” the first source also said, adding: “With cold stores full, and speedy unloading availability offered, it might get a premium discount on price for the canner”.

Source: Thai Union

Falling prices in Bangkok might have some effect on tuna prices in the Eastern Pacific Ocean (EPO), even if “50-60% of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission fleet ties up for the first stage of the veda [closure] with the even slower catching,” the US-based source said.

So far, despite lower catches in the region, Manta skipjack tuna prices have fallen less than in Bangkok, Undercurrent reported.

Poor fishing in the EPO and upcoming fishing closure are strong drivers for skipjack prices in Manta, Luigi Benincasa, executive director of Ecuadorean fishing association Atunec, said.

“But who knows where it might need to go if Bangkok continues downwards,” the US source added.

Benincasa claimed that a seafood industry news publication — not Undercurrent — “falsely” claimed on July 20 that prices in Manta had fallen to $1,450/t, “creating a tremendous problem at international level”.

Following what he called the “fake news”, some buyers have been calling their suppliers in Ecuador, asking to calculate the final price based on a raw material cost of $1,450/t, Benincasa said, alarmed.

He wished to stress that “before publishing a news on this scale, it is necessary to contact multiple sources, and these must be credible”.

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