Ecuadorean tuna prices stable despite drop in Thailand

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Republished from: Under Current News

Skipjack tuna prices in Manta, Ecuador, are resisting pressure from the ongoing bearish trend in Bangkok, Thailand, industry sources in the Americas told Undercurrent News.

Despite lower catches in the region, Manta skipjack tuna prices have fallen less than in Bangkok, Undercurrent reported earlier this month. This trend continues, according to sources.

Prices in the region are also expected to be somewhat supported by the start of the yearly 72-day “veda” closure on July 29.

Poor fishing in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and upcoming closure are strong drivers for skipjack prices in Manta, Luigi Benincasa, executive director of Ecuadorean fishing association Atunec, told Undercurrent on Friday.

The current price for skipjack tuna in Manta was currently $1,650/t and that $1,600/t was “the lowest [level recently] paid”, he said.

One news report recently put the price at $1,450/t, but this was incorrect, he added.

A source at tuna trading firm contacted by Undercurrent confirmed this.

“The price in Ecuador is $1,600/t, possibly some deals as high as $1,650/t. Likely to stay firm in view of the upcoming veda,” the source said.

“With the first tranche of the IATTC [Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission] veda just a short time away, and fishing already quite slow, it really doesn’t make sense that $1,450/t is the ‘real’ market,” the source said, referring to prices in Manta.

“I say ‘real’ because when prices go down, some pundits always grab the lowest number they can find, and vice-versa when the market moves up. This doesn’t really reflect what the bulk of sales are done at,” he added.

At the beginning of July, skipjack tuna prices for July delivery in Bangkok, fell below $1,500/t, reaching their lowest level since October 2016.

Source: Thai Union Group

Contact the author matilde.mereghetti@undercurrentnews.com