Wednesday, December 08, 2010

TUNA UPDATE

Skipjack raw material -

Continues to climb from an October low of approximately $950 M/T. Skipjack replacement price jumped to $1100 a few weeks ago. Packers withdrew since fishermen stopped quoting firm pricing. Days later, some fish traded at $1200 - $1250, upon which fisherman started asking for $1300+. Plants are now expecting $1450 in the near future and are afraid to quote lower for fear of being caught short. Factories are currently in full production fulfilling existing contracts for first quarter 2011 requirements.
Smaller then expected catch has suppliers holding off contracting futures as they assess the overall market
Oil, the single largest price component in tuna costing, jumped to a six month high this week (nearly $89 a barrel).
The U.S. dollar has also lost 3% to the Euro in the last few days.
Suppliers are waiting for firm orders prior to securing the raw material. The market is currently volatile as there is a shortage of raw material. Supply verses demand is escalating the market. Couple that with higher oil prices and a weaker U.S. Dollar and it results in higher replacement prices. This situation will remain until the overall catch improves to offset the increased cost variables previously mentioned.

Yellowfin raw material - is also firm as the reduced overall tuna catch limits supply, but additionally the percentage of yellowfin to skipjack has dropped off dramatically over the past month. Japanese market is buying up whatever yellowfin they can obtain.

Tongol raw material - a locally caught fish mainly in Thailand and Indonesian waters, is not available overseas. Existing contracts are late with virtually all packers withdrawn.

Albacore raw material - has been stable, but the increased cost of oil and low value of the U.S. Dollar have this market leaning towards firming.