Special report on alternative markets for canned tuna and cooked loins

The world’s largest traditional canned tuna markets – Europe and the USA – are maturing.  Consumption levels are stabilising in the EU and are declining in the US. However, Pacific Island processors continue to depend heavily on the European market for light meat canned tuna and pre-cooked loin exports due to duty free access, as well as the US market for pre-cooked albacore loins.  

Access to the EU market is becoming increasing complex for Pacific Island processors due to strict regulatory requirements, particularly in relation to food safety and IUU fishing. Pacific Island processors are also facing increasing competition from other more cost-effective tuna processing sites in part due to the erosion of tariff preferences.

Future growth in canned tuna market demand will likely stem from the Middle East, Latin America and other emerging markets such as Eastern Europe. This study analyses opportunities for Pacific Island exporters of canned tuna and pre-cooked frozen loins to access alternative markets, taking into account five factors: dynamics of market demand, existing suppliers, tariffs and duty preferences available to PICs, non-tariff measures and freight costs.