China, a giant that threatens Ecuador’s tuna supply

Photo: Tuna. By: Mikko Koponen. Source: Flickr.

While Ecuador continues to be the European Union’s main supplier of tuna loins, China is fast closing in to take over the top spot. Despite the absence of any trade agreement, the European bloc is increasingly shifting its purchases to the Asian country. Ecuador’s share of the tuna market has fallen from 32% to 26%, while China’s grew rapidly from 9% to 24%, between 2015 and 2022. Europe’s purchasing policy of increasing its autonomous quota every two years worries the Ecuadorian industry, as it partly erodes the tariff benefits that Ecuador and the European Union secured with the trade agreement signed in 2017.

Shipments of loin and canned tuna are the largest item in Ecuador’s fishery exports, representing 66% ($ 1,270 million) of the $ 1,914 million that the country earned in 2022. The pace at which these concessions to China and other countries are advancing keeps Ecuador expectant, as behind this policy, there is also pressure from European tuna companies to supply themselves with raw material that comes much cheaper from the Asian country. The Ecuadorian government is working to adjust its controls to combat illegal fishing and thereby lift the yellow card that the EU imposed in 2018 for illegal practices in the fisheries sector.

Top Headline: Zumba, L. (2023, February 24). China, UN Gigante que amenaza a la oferta de at煤n de ecuador.