Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Việt Nam’s tuna exports increased by 0.9 per cent in the first seven month of the year to reach more than US$266 million, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (Vasep).
The majority of the exports were fresh and frozen tuna, but compared to the same period last year, exports of these categories fell by 9.6 per cent, while exports of processed tuna products went up by nearly 12 per cent.
The exports went to 87 markets, with the US being the largest buyer, followed by the EU, ASEAN, and Japan, the association said.
Tuna exports to the US were worth $111.6 million, a year-on-year increase of 0.5 per cent.
Exports of fresh and frozen tuna accounted for more than $76.8 million of total exports to the US, up nearly 11 per cent over the same period last year, while exports of processed tuna (code HS 16) decreased by over 16 per cent.
Exports to ASEAN member countries increased by 24.9 per cent from the same period last year, but exports to the EU and Japan were down by 8.2 per cent and 10.6 per cent.
In the case of Japan, while fresh and frozen tuna shipments were down by 26.5 per cent, exports of processed tuna enjoyed good growth of 10 per cent.
The association forecasts that tuna exports to the US, ASEAN countries and China will continue to increase.
Lê Hằng, deputy director of VASEP.PRO, said Việt Nam’s tuna products, especially processed ones, were subject to high tariffs in many import markets.
An ongoing trial project for tuna fishing, buying, processing, and consumption is expected to help improve quality and competitiveness, she said.
As a developed country in the Middle East region, Israel is a potential market for Vietnamese tuna products, according to the Africa, Southwest Asia Market
Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Tuna exports to the market in the first half of the year were worth $8.6 million, a year-on-year increase of over 4 per cent.
According to VASEP, Israel is one of eight key export markets of Vietnamese tuna.
With a population with an obesity rate at over 20 per cent, the Israel Ministry of Health has recommended that residents consume tuna as a supplement of healthy omega 3-fatty acid.
Currently, exports of frozen tuna fillet (HS0304 code) to the market accounted for approximately 60 per cent, and processed tuna (HS16 code) about 30 per cent, it said.
According to UN Comtrade statistics, Thailand is the largest tuna exporter to Israel, with an export value of $18.6 million last year.
Israel’s tuna imports from China decreased from over $40 million in 2013 to $13.9 million last year.
Last year, Việt Nam earned $15.5 million from tuna exports to Israel.
The department said there is still more room for Việt Nam to boost tuna exports to the market.
It suggested local firms should focus more on improving their steaming, drying and canning technologies to enhance exports of processed products. — VNS