Pressure on prices The dramatic increase in tuna production over the last few years seems to be coming to an end as rumours circulate that selling prices have not kept pace with costs, of which raw material is only a part. The hoped for drop in skipjack prices paid to the fishing fleets has been dashed as recent auctions have seen rises in spite of better catches. No one expected prices to go back to the $500 US/tonne. But with Bangkok paying $800, prices over the next few months are going to be higher than had earlier been thought. Tuna as a commodity business which offers canners a restricted return on ever increasing investment needs to keep up with growing demands from buyers, particularly in quality standards. Labour costs in the traditional producing areas, such as Thailand and the Philippines, are escalating at an alarming rate. These "non preference" producers will find competing in the EU more and more difficult, and any chance of duty easing is remote, according to UK traders. {{CANNED GOODS }}