All species of tuna have been in short supply the past 6 months or so with prices climbing steadily. It seems as though there is no relief in sight now as landings of raw material are erratic and are not enough to meet demand. Skipjack raw material prices had fallen in certain producing markets during the first 3 weeks of January, which most likely are for small fish that have a lower yield. The season for higher catches is typically around April; therefore no one is expecting relief in pricing until May or June at the earliest.
- Chunk Light has increased steadily over the past 6 months and is now reaching the highest price in recent memory.
- Yellowfin, which was significantly cheaper than Tongol, is now almost the same cost.
- Tongol, the lightest of ‘light’ tuna, has been especially short and pricing reflects the short supply.
- Albacore is now in very short supply, and the issue isn’t always the high cost, it is also only available in limited quantities. Albacore is a completely sellers’ market and right now the demand is higher than the supply.
Pouch tuna fish is a viable option to canned tuna fish. Although typically more expensive than canned due to labor intensity, now it can be comparably priced. The reason for this is that pouch tuna is only packed with flakes, which is not as costly as chunks. Pouch tuna is an excellent alternative to canned for manufacturers as there is no draining required and the waste is significantly less because an empty pouch takes up less room than an empty can. Pouched tuna comes in Light and Albacore.