Many of our food service customers have expressed frustration with the recent spike of imported frozen yellow fin tuna products – steaks and loins specifically. A recent article, displayed below, sheds some light on the issues that surround yellow fin imports.
Northern Fish’s buying team works with multiple importers in an attempt to mitigate supply shortages, however based on our research it does not appear the supply constraints will break lose in the immediate future.
While this can be frustrating for our food service partners we believe this represents an opportunity to explore other products that can be prepared in a similar fashion, so far the top substitutes are: White Pacific Albacore Tuna Loins and Swordfish Steaks/Loins. Contact your sales representative for further information.
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS by Michael Ramsingh – March 06, 2012
Tuna steaks and loin prices have gone up in price significantly in the past few months, and in February were over $7.00 per lb, according to Urner Barry quotations on loins and steaks. Many industry traders are blaming the jump in prices on an increase in FDA refusals which are causing supplies to be tighter.
Since September 2011, according to the most recent FDA data, there have been 54 rejections of tuna products. Most of the rejections come from Indonesia and Vietnam.
As refusals increase, so does risk with many traders saying that insurance premiums have gone up, in addition to packers’ overseas fears of losing exporting licenses to the U.S.
In addition to the bump in import refusals, other reasons attributed to the spike in prices include a strong demand in the U.S., and rising replacement costs overseas due to a raw material shortages.
While it is difficult to assess the amount of imports of tuna steaks– since there is no category in customs for this particular item–Urner Barry quotations for 8 oz. tuna steaks have spiked significantly, nearly 50%.