Tuna exports driving monthly increase

Marine Exports Volume
April 2016


  Apr 16 Mar 16 Feb 16 Jan 16

Total Volume (metric tons)
142.5 135.9 290.7 71.3
Tuna 134.6 103.8 275.1 66.3
Snapper 3.7 10.2 8.9 5.0
Others 4.2 22.0 6.7 -
Aquarium Products (pieces)
15,404 13,938 9,266 8,861

Note: Numbers may not add up to the total volume due to rounding error.

Tuna exports driving monthly increase

Marine Exports

A rebound in the export of tuna drove an increase in total volume of marine exports1 over the month by 6.6 metric tons (4.9%). Tuna exports rose by 30.8 metric tons (29.7%) compared to the previous month. In contrast, all other fisheries products fell with export of seaweed declining the most by 16.8 metric tons, followed by snapper decreasing by 6.5 metric tons (63.7%).

Over the year, total marine exports volume continued to rise by 760.4 metric tons (85.4%) mainly driven by a rise of 905.6 metric tons in the export of tuna. In addition, the export of snapper also rose by 35.9 metric tons. These offset a decline in export of beche der mer, seaweed, shark meat, reef fish and shark fin. The increase in the number of fishing vessels has contributed to the increase in the catch rates.

Aquarium Exports

Over the month to April 2016, the total quantity of aquarium exports rose by 1,466 pieces (10.5%) due to increases in exports of corals and shellfish. Live hard coral exports increased the highest with volume rising by 1,449 pieces (76.6%) followed by an increase in soft coral exports of 336 pieces (20.7%). Shellfish exports rose by 24 pieces (7.3%). On the other hand, the export of invertebrate and live fish declined but was insufficient to offset the monthly rise.

In year ended terms, the total volume of aquarium products fell by 61,143 pieces (29.6%) mainly driven by declining export volume of invertebrate, live hard and soft corals.

Exports Proceeds

The Ministry of Fisheries estimated the value of monthly export proceeds to be $0.91 million in April, however in the banking system only $0.40 million were received from the export of fisheries and other marine products. This implies export proceeds of $0.51 million are being still being held abroad.

The total proceeds rose by $1.8 million to $6.7 million over the year, in line with an increase in total marine exports volume. The strengthening of the US dollar and Japanese Yen against the Tongan pa’anga supports the higher receipts.

Outlook

The NRBT expects the fisheries sector will continue to grow, with tuna exports being the main contributor. The MAFFF plans to expand the pearl industry, and new markets available for seaweed exports in the coming year would contribute to the expected 2.0%growth in the fisheries sector for 2016/17. This sector continues to benefit from the consumption tax and custom duty exemptions on oil and fishing gear, as well as theFisheries Development and Export Fund (FDEF) initiatives by the government which is facilitated by the Tonga Development Bank. MAFFF is also negotiating with one of the donors for loan guarantee funds to increase the amount of loan funds available to
fishing enterprises with no loan collateral. The introduction of the Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200 aircraft provides extra capacity for more exports volume going forward.


1 - Excluded aquarium products


Download the full report: Marine Exports Volumes - April 2016

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