The US remains a relatively small country, but when it comes the seafood industry, it can be surprisingly expensive.
The United States is the world’s third largest seafood consumer after China and the European Union, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
And it’s not the only country where the cost of seafood has gone up.
But even for a country that imports most of its seafood, prices can be a bit high.
“There is definitely an international component to seafood prices,” said Paul Vessenes, the CEO of Food Marketing Institute, a non-profit that studies food and agriculture issues.
A number of other factors, including climate change, are contributing to rising prices in the US, he added.
The World Health Organization reports that global health costs have been on a rise since the early 1980s, and that food prices are up by as much as 50 percent since 2000.
The agency predicts that by 2050, food prices will likely surpass health care costs, the highest they’ve ever been.
Many Americans may not be aware of this, but the cost for fresh seafood is a bit higher than what you might expect, according a report by the Institute of Medicine.
Even if you live in an expensive city like New York City, the average price of a bag of tuna has been going up by about 30 percent since 2005.
Vessenes said the rising cost of tuna can also be a factor in driving up food prices in some countries, like China, Japan and other emerging economies.
China is a major producer of tuna, with an annual catch of about one million tons.
But it has been catching fewer fish in recent years.
As a result, it is now buying more seafood from other countries to feed its growing population.
The US, Vesses said, “is probably the one country where there is a clear trade surplus between China and other countries.”
The US Department of Commerce says that the nation’s seafood imports, mostly from Asia, have increased by about $100 billion since 2010, but it is a big part of that growth.
The country’s overall imports account for a third of the total seafood market.
When it comes down to seafood and seafood consumption, the United States has one of the most competitive economies in the world, said Dr. John Vigdor, the chief medical officer of the US Department’s National Center for Food Policy and Promotion.
In 2017, for instance, the number of Americans with jobs was at its highest level in more than 20 years, and a majority of Americans said they enjoyed their jobs.
Vigdor said the food prices have a direct effect on the amount of money people spend on food.
He said the US spends about 10 percent of GDP on food, while China spends roughly 11 percent, or nearly $1.7 trillion.
That translates to a much bigger food budget than other developed countries, including Australia, the European countries, Japan, South Korea, Canada and the United Kingdom.
But Vigdanas said some countries are more efficient at spending money on food than the US.
“In many countries, we see food spending as an expense that is actually quite high, and yet they actually consume much more food than Americans do,” he said.
Vessene said the growing food deficit can also impact how people spend their money.
“You don’t have that luxury of just going and shopping at the grocery store,” he explained.
“That would be like living in a house where everything is on the table.”
Food prices can also have an effect on consumer spending habits.
“Food is a very large part of our purchasing power, so the more people that are buying from us, the more they’re going to spend on everything else,” he added, citing the increase in grocery shopping as one example.
Food is also expensive in other ways.
In 2018, the cost to produce a pound of beef in the United State was $2,300.
That same year, the price of milk and cheese was $5.20 per gallon.
Vivenes said a combination of factors can lead to high food prices.
“For example, if you buy a lot of food and then it doesn’t turn out well, you’re going buy a different type of food,” he told ABC News.
Other reasons that can cause high food costs include a lack of inventory, and overconsumption.
Vessens said that when it came to seafood production, there are two main reasons that make the price high: a lack in available seafood, and an abundance of foreign seafood.
For example the United Sates imports about 1 million metric tons of seafood a year, he said, compared to around 6 million metric tonnes of seafood consumed by the European nations.
Vigds said that because of this shortage of fish in the food supply, some Americans are willing to spend more money on seafood