Tuna Market Update

According to market research, the worldwide tuna market is expected to achieve a value of USD 52.85 Billion by 2028, demonstrating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.65% from 2022 to 2028.

Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin Tuna Production

Yellowfin tuna, recognized for its substantial economic value, stands out as a prized tuna species. It has notable attributes, including a rapid growth rate, widespread distribution in the oceans, high economic worth, and a relatively abundant availability of resources. All of which position it as the second-leading contributor to global tuna production, with bonito taking the lead.

Ocean Treasure | Yellowfin Tuna

Tuna catches in the eastern Pacific have seen a substantial rise in recent months, according to Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC). Bonito catches escalated by 14%, reaching 259,722 tonnes from January to September 2023. Concurrently, yellowfin tuna catches experienced a notable 10.5% increase, totaling 238,655 tonnes during the same period. Furthermore, in comparison to bluefin tuna, which has a lower yield, yellowfin tuna is a more prevalent choice for sashimi and enjoys widespread popularity in various markets due to its high protein content and low fat.

Yellowfin tuna lives in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean. Moreover, this species is accessible throughout the year and is also present in the South China Sea and waters near Taiwan, China.

Yellowfin Tuna Market Demand

Yellowfin Tuna is anticipated to experience a surge in demand in the forthcoming years. This beloved seafood, renowned for its robust flavor and firm texture, is not only a culinary delight but also a nutritional powerhouse. Therefore, its richness in essential nutrients makes it a preferred choice for health-conscious individuals.

The rising popularity of sushi has played a pivotal role in the heightened yellowfin tuna market demand. Besides, the forces of globalization and the expansion of international trade have made yellowfin tuna readily available on a global scale. Therefore, that further drives its market demand. Moreover, its recognition as a sustainable seafood option resonates with individuals who are conscientious about the environmental impact of their food choices.

China’s Tuna Production & Trade

Vietnam, India, China, Ecuador, the Philippines, and several other countries emerge as key contributors to the global tuna fish production.

In 2021, China exhibited substantial activity in the tuna industry, with a tuna catching output of 36,500 tons. And it indicated a year-on-year increase of 12.3%. Additionally, China’s tuna pelagic fishery output amounted to 322,300 tons, a modest year-on-year decrease of 1.6%.

Ocean Treasure | China's Pelagic Fishery Production

The tuna imported and exported by China are mainly yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, albacore tuna, big-eye tuna, and other tuna. While the predominant method of transportation for these tuna products is freezing.

As of November 2022, China’s tuna trade dynamics revealed a nuanced picture. The country experienced a year-on-year decrease in tuna import volume, totaling 1,900 tons, reflecting a decline of 23.71%. However, the import value witnessed a substantial increase, reaching US$44 million, marking a notable year-on-year growth of 45.47%.

On the export front, China shipped out 41,900 tons of tuna. While the export value exhibited robust growth, totaling 292 million US dollars, indicating a significant year-on-year increase of 30.21%.

Ocean Treasure | China's Export & Import from 2017 to 2022

Bluefin Tuna

Malta’s Bluefin Tuna Agreement with China

Malta’s strategic central position in the Mediterranean Sea makes it an ideal location for the capture and export of tuna, especially the prized bluefin tuna that thrives in the region. The nation takes pride in a robust fishing heritage, spanning thousands of years, where local fishermen employ traditional techniques such as the ‘tonnara’ tuna traps. Malta has distinguished itself by committing to sustainable tuna fishing and management practices. This dedication to sustainability not only aligns with environmental conservation but also enhances Malta’s standing in international markets, adding considerable value to its tuna exports.

Ocean Treasure | Bluefin Tuna

During the 6th China International Import Expo, Malta formalized a trade agreement with China. That signals a significant shift in its tuna export strategy. Under this agreement, Malta’s farmed bluefin tuna will be directly exported to China. Prior to this deal, the majority of Malta’s farmed bluefin tuna, approximately 95%, was exported to Japan. Japan, in turn, processed the imported Maltese tuna before exporting it to China.

Ocean Treasure | A bluefin tuna breeding base in Malta

The new trade agreement is a pivotal step, offering fresh opportunities for Maltese tuna producers to directly access the Chinese market. This shift is going to streamline the export process, potentially reducing complexities in the supply chain, and providing direct entry for Maltese tuna products into the Chinese market.

Future Outlook

Increasing Tuna Market Demand

The global tuna fish market features major importing countries. The USA ranks as the biggest importer of tuna fish. A noteworthy trend on the horizon is the anticipated substantial increase in tuna fish imports by the USA.

US Tuna Imports Expected to Surge

Several factors contribute to the expected surge in tuna imports to the United States. Firstly, the growing popularity of seafood in the American diet is a significant driver. Tuna is particularly favored for its convenience and versatility in various culinary preparations. Additionally, the increasing demand for tuna is propelled by health-conscious consumers who recognize the numerous health benefits associated with seafood consumption.

Furthermore, there is a decrease in domestic tuna production, attributed to overfishing and environmental concerns. It has resulted in an increased dependence on imported tuna to fulfill the growing demand in the United States. Technological advancements and enhancements in transportation have played a crucial role in making tuna imports to the United States more cost-effective and readily accessible.

Ocean Treasure: Your Reliable Supplier in Asia

Ocean Treasure World Foods Limited offers a variety of frozen tuna fish in different presentations and sizes. Loins, steaks, and portions, all sizes are available. This year, a substantial catch of yellowfin tuna in the East Pacific has led to a highly competitive and stable pricing for yellowfin tuna.

Ocean Treasure’s dedicated marketing team is committed to delivering the most current market news about seafood. With over 16 years of experience in the global seafood industry, we take pride in our well-trained and experienced team of inspectors. Ocean Treasure assumes a crucial Quality Assurance (QA) role within the global seafood value chain. Having earned certifications from BRC, ASC, and MSC, we uphold the highest quality standards worldwide to guarantee top-notch quality. Our overarching goal is to serve as your eyes in distant countries, presenting accurate information about your ordered products, and thereby ensuring the security and success of your seafood business. Ocean Treasure consistently stands as your reliable supplier in Asia.

Stay tuned with Ocean Treasure. Your Reliable Supplier in Asia.

Ocean Treasure | Ocean Treasure

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