Fisheries sector activity observed mixed developments during the final quarter of 2022, reported the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA).
The central bank noted that despite the annual decline in fish purchases made by fish processing companies, the volume of fish exports increased during the review quarter.
The gross value added by the fisheries sector in Q3-2022, the sector registered a marginal decline of 0.2% and fell short of pre-pandemic levels of Q3-2019 by 7.3%.
Fish purchases reached a total of 24,114.8 metric tons in Q4-2022, observing a decline of 14% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2021. This decline was mainly due to the 15% drop in skipjack tuna followed by a 6% decline in purchases of yellowfin tuna.
The average purchase price of skipjack tuna rose marginally from MVR14 per kilogram to MVR15 per kilogram. The price of iced skipjack tuna rose from MVR16 per kilogram to MVR17 per kilogram in annual terms.
On the other hand, the average purchase price of yellowfin tuna by local companies declined to MVR62.8 per kilogram in Q4-2022 from MVR87.4 per kilogram in Q4-2021.
The volume of fish exports increased by 2% – which is 511.8 metric tons – in the final quarter of 2022 when compared with Q4-2021 and reached a total of 25,571.2 metric tons.
The growth in the volume of fish exports mainly reflected in the increment in frozen skipjack tuna exports rising by 25% – 3,363.8 metric tons. Meanwhile, exports of fresh or chilled yellowfin tuna and canned or pouched tuna observed declines.