Tuna prices explode on New Years Eve; could stay that way for a week

Published On: Dec 31 2013 06:34:11 PM HST
Updated On: Dec 31 2013 07:54:42 PM HST

The price of tuna nearly doubles on New Year's Eve due to a smaller volume of fish.


The price of Tuna in Hawaii has gone way up in just one day.

"I would say fish almost doubled in price from yesterday when the volume was strong," said Robert Fram, owner of Garden & Valley Isle Seafood.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.

That volume was around 125,000 lbs. of fish brought in to the auction block Monday. About 60-percent of that catch was tuna, but on Tuesday morning, there was a lot less supply.

"I got a text, a little quick texts saying, crazy nuts pricing for tuna and we saw tuna that we might have been buying for five or six bucks that might've been ten," said Fram.

That text came after a Seafood Garden worker noticed only 42,000 lbs. of fish at the auction block Tuesday. Robert Fram said that's roughly half the amount they hoped for. The rising prices are a simple matter of supply and demand.

"It's the busy time, but this is the time when you've got to perform for your chefs, your hotels and your retailers you know," said Fram.

Lines packed Alicia's Market in Kalihi for poke and other pupus. Unlike other retailers, prices at Alicia's remained the same since they chose to use previously frozen fish to keep it affordable.

"Bottom line is the taste, fresh frozen, get the taste going there and people are happy." said Leonard Kam, from Alicia's Market.

For those who prefer fresh, a pound of premium cuts can be even more costly.

"It's probably out on the retail areas, $40 to $50 range, where yesterday because there was a lot of fish it was still in the $20 to $30 range," said Fram.

Experts say, these prices could stick around for at least a week.

"If you really want to see some high spikes in numbers, go watch that auction on Saturday morning because everybody in our industry will be out of fish," said Fram.

The reason Bob Fram mentioned that we'll see another spike on Saturday is because the auction block will be closed Wednesday through Friday. Wholesalers and retailers will have to wait until then to reload on their supply.


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