EU proposes to maintain producer price for tuna

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

The European Commission has tabled its annual proposal on guide
prices for fresh and frozen fisheries products, indicating that the
cost for tuna used in food processing will be maintained nextyear.

The proposal is used to determine consumer and producer prices for the fishing year 2006. The guide is used to ensure the functioning of the EU's price support and intervention policyfor the fishing industry as laid down by the EU's parliament.

Tuna species are among the most important fish commodities in the world and are mostly sold canned. The main global markets of canned tuna are the EU and the US. The main global marketof tuna raw material for canning is Thailand, according to Eurofish.The main global market of tuna for direct consumption is Japan, where it is consumed raw as sashimi.

The Community producer price relates to the compensatory allowance for tuna destined for the processing industry market. The allowance might be triggered when prices on the worldmarkets fall below a specified level, as set annually by the Commission.

Under the current European Commission proposal the EU minimum producer prices for tuna products will be maintained at its current level of €1,207.

The compensatory allowance for tuna was triggered last year, due to low prices in the first half of 2004. However, this downward trend reversed in the first half of 2005, leading the Commission toproposes that the EU price remain unchanged.

The Commission's proposals are based on Member States' average market prices over the previous three years. Other important factors taken into account include trends in production and marketdemand, the interests of consumers and the need to avoid withdrawals of fisheries products from the market. The table is available on the following link :

The subsidies for fishery products are carried out under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). They aim at providing stability for the EU's fishery industry by preventing a possiblecrisis if the world prices fall below the bloc's prices.

The EU estimates that about €18.2 million in subsidies will be needed for the fishing year, of which €1.7 million has been set aside for tuna producers.

For consumer prices, the Commission noted that the average cost for most white fish species showed moderate increases over the period 2003-2005, marking a reversal of the downward trend seen in2002-2003.

The Commission therefore proposes to raise guide prices for most of these species by between 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent. The market for pelagic species was mixed during the reference period.

The Commission proposes a two per cent price increase for herring. The intervention price for mackerel and anchovies is set to rise by three per cent.

The level has been reduced by one per cent for albacore and by three per cent for sardines and Spanish mackerel. Decreases of about 0.5 per cent are also proposed for most crustaceans.

The Commission proposes substantial reductions of between 0.5 per cent and two per cent for many frozen products, reflecting lower prices on international markets.

The most notable exceptions are for frozen sword fish, for which the Commission proposes a 1.5 per cent price increase. The Commission also proposess a two per cent price increase for Parapenaeusprawns.

The prices for frozen sea bream, squid and cuttlefish remain unchanged. The report and the list of proposed prices are available here​.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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