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Soltuna Plans to Increase its Tuna Production

23 August 2012

SOLOMON ISLANDS - The Soltuna company has planned to increase its production of tuna by the end of year says its financial manager Frank Lao.

Speaking to pacific journalists at Noro over the weekend, Mr Lao said the company is looking to increasing its production from its current 80 metric tons per day to between 100 and 120 metric tons by the end of year to meet its market demand, reports SolomonStar.

“We hope to increase our daily production to meet the increasing demand for tuna loins and canned products in the international markets,” Mr Lao said.

Soltuna’s annual production of tuna loins to international markets is between 4500 to 5000 metric tons.

According to Mr Lao the current international market fish price of yellow fin is US$2100 (SBD$14, 800) per metric ton and loin cost between $US6500 (SBD$45, 800) to US$6800 (SBD$48,000) per metric ton.

“Demand for our tuna loins is high and the company wishes to grasp that market demand,” Mr Lao said.

However he added that the company could not meet this increasing demand due to man-power problem the company is faced with.

Adding this was due to high labour turnover and bad attitude towards work which really affects the steady flow of company operations.

Soltuna is currently exporting 90 per cent of loin tuna to its European and US markets. Thirty containers weighing 25 metric tons are exported each month.

A metric ton of loin is sold at US$6,000 for yellow fin tuna giving annual estimated revenue of US$ 2 million.

Canned tuna products accounts for 90 per cent of its domestic market and 10 per cent to its overseas market. Despite high market demand for canned tuna, the company management at this stage said to prioritize the exportation of tuna loins.

However the company’s financial manager said if the company can increase its production to 100 or to its maximum of 150 metric tons per day, that will definitely boost the revenue to over US$3m (SBD$21m).

“Since 2010, the company is running at a loss, but we will try our best to change the situation in due course,” Mr Lao stressed.

The company’s annual financial statement as of July this year saw the company running at a loss of SBD$8 million loss.

Meanwhile Managing Director Adrian Wickham highlighted that there is a lot yet to be done as currently they are investing on factory equipments to boast their production.

“We will eventually get there and do much better,” Mr Wickham said.

TheFishSite News Desk



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