Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna Prices Show Recovery

June 3, 2024

2 mins read


Skipjack Tuna Prices Show Recovery

The Mintec Benchmark Prices (MBP) for Thai skipjack tuna increased by $35/MT (+1.9%) during the quarter ending 31 May 2024, after a 10-month downward trend. This change may be attributed to a more dynamic market following the World Tuna Trade Conference. As seasonality demand rises, the industry is optimistic for the quarter ahead of skipjack price.

Yellowfin Tuna Prices Rise Due to Catch Reductions

During the second quarter of 2024 so far, yellowfin tuna delivered to the EU prices experienced an upward trajectory. The price in May 2024 increased by 4% m-o-m. This price growth is due to reduced catches in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. In addition, fishing for yellowfin has become more challenging in the Indian Ocean due to shifting tuna school distributions influenced by El Niño patterns. The connection between El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)(Figure 1), and tuna landings (Figure 2) is complex, but generally, during a strong El Niño, tuna landings drop in the Indian Ocean. In contrast, during a La Niña event, higher tuna landings are observed.
Figure 1 Seychelles yellowfin and skipjack tuna export from 2020 to 2024.  

 Figure 2 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index in recent years.

IOTC’s Efforts to Enhance Tuna Industry Sustainability

Recognising the need for additional sustainable practices, the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) has taken a significant step. It has adopted a plan to gradually reduce the use of fish aggregation devices (FADs) in tuna fishing. The FADs attract pelagic fish, contributing to the rise in the tuna industry's fish capacity. However, these FADs have negative externalities, such as the bycatch of aquatic species like sharks and marine pollution after sinking.  

Topics: Fish & Seafood
Boris Ampuero
Boris Ampuero

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