Raw material prices for tuna have eased, but catches are still spasmodic, leading to uncertainty over future price trends.
Causing concern is the reluctance of packers to offer any long-term shipping periods. Bangkok and the Philippines seem to be holding back, fearing that catches may slow down, forcing market prices for skipjack back up to $900/tonne. Catches in Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Columbia have been better, with hopes of $700/tonne shortly. Yellowfin catches in the Atlantic have been good.
Alaskan salmon canners are making preparations for the new season’s canning, which will start in the first week of July.
Sources in Seattle are warning of higher prices because of an increase in the cost of raw materials and fuel. Fishermen’s groups are insisting that the 55 cents/lb paid last year was too low and are threatening to strike if packers aren’t prepared to talk 65c-plus.
Sardine prices increasing
Poor fishing off Portugal and Morocco is causing problems for sardine canners, some of whom have sold on long-term contracts.
As yet, there has been no talk of renegotiation. However, prices are on the increase, with limited quantities of product offered.
Dried fruit market mixed
Greek currant prices have remained stable after frost in the Peloponnese region did little damage to crops. But one trader warned that prices may be vulnerable to season-end weakness.
Meanwhile, the 2005 South African raisin and sultana harvest totalled 20,000 tonnes, and will not be sufficient to last the season. Thompson seedless raisins are being quoted at $1,650 per tonne cif UK and $1,700 per tonne for Orange River sultanas.
The Australian sultana crop has reduced some of the impact of the poor SA performance. The Australian harvest yielded 27,000 tonnes, with the crop reported to be of high quality.