Prices for whole round skipjack in the Eastern Pacific Ocean tuna hub in Manta, Ecuador have inched higher, SKJ1.8:MNT have now reached USD 1,700 per M/T, indicating a 5.8 percent increase compared to last month.
As reported on Atuna, prices have fallen in the beginning of the year at USD 1,450. The current level has shown a 14.7 percent increase compared to the price in January 2019.
Despite the end of the yearly tuna fishing ban in the EPO, fishing remains very poor and local canneries are still extremely short on raw material.
Fishing companies report dire fishing conditions, which they attribute to the high surface temperatures caused by El Niño. This can be seen throughout most of the Eastern Pacific. Rain and wind conditions are also reported to be consistent with El Niño.
While some carriers continue to arrive from the Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Western and Central Pacific, the incoming quantity is still insufficient to remedy the raw material situation.
The low supply is also resulting in increased competition among canners, driving up prices.