Tuna canning process. (Photo: Tecopesca)
Tuna industry is consolidating in new markets
Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 04:30 (GMT + 9)
Venezuela is becoming an attractive market for Ecuadorian tuna exporters, and the prospects are encouraging for the sector.
In the first half of 2012, Ecuador exported a total of 86.8 million kilograms of tuna for USD 200.2 million. And Venezuela received 3.5 million kg of tuna for USD 14.7 million, according to the company Manifestos.
According to the data provided by the Ecuadorian company, throughout the past year 12.1 million kilograms were exported to the Venezuelan market for USD 55.5 million, Diario Hoy reported.
In early 2012, the domestic firms Salica and Nirsa in Guayas; Asiservy, Isabel, Ideal, Markfish, Tecopesca, Bilbosa, Saefman and Promarsan, in Manabí, received a delegation from Venezuela composed of more than a dozen political and business representatives.
During their stay in Ecuador, Andrés Moffe, director of Marketing and Logistics of the Agricultural Supply and Service Corporation (CASA) in Venezuela, confirmed the intention of the nation to further strengthen Ecuadorian tuna purchasing.
Therefore, Moffe said a greater participation of Ecuadorian companies is expected in the Venezuelan market.
"We do not want to be considered in Ecuador as mere customers or partners," he pointed out.
In Ecuador, the delegates from Venezuela inspected the tuna plants and the quality of the products.
The tuna entrepreneur Bruno Leone confirmed the importance of the Venezuelan market for the sector.
"The purchases performed by Venezuela have been growing in importance. Of all the countries in South America, this country captures 18 per cent of purchases," he stated.
However, Venezuela is not only interested in the tuna but also in frozen fish and in fishmeal.
During the first half of this year, Ecuador sold frozen fish for USD 2.6 million and fishmeal for USD 419,000 in the Venezuelan market.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to increase the total exports of the Ecuadorian tuna industry, the sector claims that canned tuna should be included in the list of Ecuadorian products exported under the General System of Preferences (GSP), apart from the tuna in pouches, El Universo reported.
The latest figures of tuna catches published by the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) indicate that between 1 January and 29 July, 2012 a total of 339,856 tonnes was caught, representing 7.1 per cent less than in the same period last year, when 365,581 tonnes were caught.
Until 29 July, 2012, the Ecuadorian vessels captured 140,193 tonnes of tuna; the Mexican fleet caught 81,034 tonnes; the Venezuelan fleet fished 33,066 tonnes; and the fleet from Panama captured 32,172 tonnes, among others.
By Analia Murias
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member TECOPESCA - Tecnica y Comercio de la Pesca C.A.