Tuna Market Intelligence - Issue 37


Bangkok Tuna Marker insiders say skipjack tuna prices have inched its way up to US $1650 per metric tonne this month.

Parties to Nauru Agreement Commercial Manager Maurice Brownjohn said the rapid climb from the low USD $1000 per metric tonne has caused an upset in the market. The last market report put prices at USD $1,600 per metric tonne

Brownjohn said supply remained limited with fishing low in the region: "With Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) closures due mid year and low inventory in Bangkok prices are expected to remain buoyant for the next few months.” 

World Tuna Purse Seine Boat Owners Association President (WTPO) Francisco Tiu Laurel confirmed the price and said prices have already stagnated since canned tuna buyers sold at low prices to their customers and retailers.

“I think the next price movement will be after the tuna conference in Bangkok,” he said.

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Majuro transshipment in high gear          

Indicating that the lull in fishing at the beginning of 2016 is well and truly over, for the week ending April 29, Port Majuro had as few as nine purse seiners in port, many of them actively transshipping or waiting to transship. This compares to January when a record 38 purse seiners were anchored in Majuro, nearly all waiting either for license renewals or for skipjack prices on the world market to rise.

Eleven transshipments were completed or took place from April 20 to 29, accounting for an estimated 15,000 tons of tuna being off-loaded to carrier vessels in Majuro. Ten carrier vessels were anchored in Majuro to receive tonnage for transport to off-shore canneries.
Of note in the transshipment data provided by the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority, is the absence of U.S.-flagged purse seiners. Majuro is used as a hub for the American purse seiners, and when the fleet was not re-licensed in January nearly a third of the 37 vessels in the fleet were anchored in Majuro. Now re-licensed, the U.S. fleet has rejoined other fleets in the fishing grounds.

Port Majuro has become the busiest transshipment point in the western Pacific in the past two years, with over 300,000 tons of tuna passing through from purse seiners to carrier vessels a year.

Kiribati handed yellow card

The European Commission has issued a yellow card to Kiribati, Sierra Leone and Trinidad and Tobago stating they are being uncooperative in the fight against illegal fishing.

However, the Commission has lifted the red card and associated trade measures off Sri Lanka, as the country has significantly improved its national fisheries governance.

The EU claims there are serious risks that illegally caught fish could be laundered through the ports of Kiribati, as they do not have robust traceability systems in place for fisheries products. The Commission says that Kiribati's unwillingness to share important information on third country vessels operating in their waters undermines the Commission's work to improve transparency and sustainability of tuna resources in the Western and Central Pacific.

Kumoru says he will look for consensus

Newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of the PNA Ludwig Kumoru says he will look to consensus when dealing with issues involving the PNA.

“I don’t think its going to be a challenge to be a CEO; the main challenge would be to see things in a different way, because now I will be thinking about 8 countries, not only PNG. So you have to look at how you play things overall.

But you also have to be neutral, trying to hold all eight countries together and trying to find ways where they have consensus on decisions. Your job would be to bring people together but not dictate decisions,” he mused.

Kumoro said PNG helped built up PNA and so the new role would deal with familiar issues.  “Going forward, the “challenge is to come up with ideas to add more value to the PNA fishery,” Kumoru said. “Parties need to cooperate more closely, especially in terms of developing their domestic industries. What are things they can do to add value to each other’s industry.”

Kumoro officially starts the position in August.

Tuna Market Intelligence is an independent publication, sponsored by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) to unearth industry and market information from Pacific Island reporters and analysts. Reprint in the media from the PNA countries is free. All other reprints must be authorized. Contact us on marketintel@pnatuna.com or see more on www.pnatuna.com





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Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA)
PNA Office PO Box 3992

Majuro, Marshall Islands
MH 96960
Phone: +692 625 7626/7627
Fax: +692 625 7628

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