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Tokyo fish wholesale market price from 2008 to May 2012

Tokyo fish wholesale market prices from 2008 to May 2012

July 13, 2012

Tokyo wholesale fish markets, Tsukiji (main market), Adachi and Ohta, are part of Metropolitan Central Wholesales Market in Tokyo which consist of 11 markets in Tokyo, is the largest fish market in the world. The market deal about fresh, live, frozen, dried, salted, fermented and processed products about fish, shellfish, shrimps, crabs, algae as the market dealt 527.5 thousand MT and 5,591.8 million USD with 470 items in 2011.
I will report the price of some major fish in the market from 2008 to May 2012.


Bluefin tuna (BFT) consist of similar two species, Pacific Bluefin tuna (PBFT; Thunnus orientalis) distribute at Pacific ocean and Northern Bluefin tuna which grow bigger (NBFT; T. thynnus) at Mediterranean sea and Atlantic ocean. Southern Bluefin tuna (SBT, T. maccoyii) distributes the southern hemisphere, Yellowfin tuna (YFT, T. albacares) at tropical ocean and Bigeye tuna (T. obesus) at warm water.
The stocks of tunas are reducing due to overfishing, especially SBT categorized CR in IUCN red list. Additionally, capture base tuna growers, catch young tuna to growth marketable size within months, consume much resource. Japan imported 23.4 thousand ton capture base NBFT out of 30.5 thousand ton from Mediterranean countries and Mexico in 2007. Kinki University completed lifecycle of PBFT with 30 years study in 2002 and producing hatchery made tuna which independent from the wild stock.

Price of tunas from the highest is PBFT, NBFT, SBT, Bigeye tuna then YBT depend on freshness, size (age) and fatness contents. There are no differences of freshness between fresh or frozen due to deep freeze, it can keep freshness for a year under -60 ºC. The price according to part of body as they met near 1st pelvic fin is the highest price which consist much fats, call “Otoro”. Below is a table that shows the price of tunas in summary from 2008 to 2011.

The frozen, majority are imported, tuna price at Tokyo wholesales market of BFT, mix with PBFT and NBFT, SBT and YFT from 2008 to May 2012 shows below.

BFT price around 3,500 JPY/Kg as 40 USD/Kg, SBT was 2,500 JPY as 30 USD and YFT was 1,000 JPY as 12 USD. Notes the USD prices depend on exchange rate and which decreased 23 % from 2008 to 2010 and USD price increased in 2012.
There are some stocks of SBFT at North of Chile and world stock is in serious condition. Additionally, Chile has resources of cage culture management and skilled workers as salmon industry. Only missing part is seed production technique and PBFT was completed. So, why not take chance.

Hamachi (Japanese amberjack, Seriola quinqueradiata)

Japanese amberjack is one of the major fish in Japan and the fish change name depend on size, like “Mojyako (juvenile), Wakashi (below 35 cm), Inada (35 - 60 cm), Warasa (60 - 80 cm) and “Buri” (over 80 cm). Additionally, the fish called “Hamachi” (40 – 60 cm) in western Japan or sometime cultured the fish as well.
Buri captured 50 thousand ton and Hamachi produced 150 thousand ton. Juvenile for culture are captured in wild and culture around 2 years to reach marketable size.
The Tokyo wholesales dealt 4,752 thousand ton of wild and 9,879 ton of cultured and average price was 742 JPY/Kg (9.18 USD) and 755 JPY (9.33 USD) in 2011 accordingly.  The price of cultured fish shows between 750 and 800 JPY/Kg but start to reducing recently.

Yellowtail amberjack (S. lalandi) habit in Chile even Japan and that similar to Japanese amberjack. The price of Yellowtail amberjack (wild) is higher about 10 % than Japanese amberjack due to less quantity in the market. Advantage of amberjacks are grow fast and big which ideal for culture business. For instance, the price similar to YBF

Hirame (Japanese flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus)

Japanese flounder is very popular fish, called “Hirame”, in Japan that captured 7,300 ton, cultured 4,200 ton and imported 3,900 ton from Korea, live fish by trucks or boats, in 2008 according to Tajima.
Fresh Hirame at Tokyo wholesale market in 2011 dealt 748 ton by local producers and 186 ton by importation. The price shows more or less 1,500 JPY/Kg and between 15 to 20 USD/Kg from 2008 to 2012. The price is higher with frozen YBT.  While in Chile growth is difficult to compete Korea grower due to Korea has more potential to produce live Hirame and difficult to keep freshness from Chile to Japan. Thus, Chile grower should target other market like North America and Europe countries.

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