|Farmers in Binh Dinh Province's Hoai Nhon District handle tuna. Viet Nam's tuna exports to major markets have fallen since the end of last year. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — The domestic tuna industry will find it difficult to reach its export value target for the year because of reduction in exports since the beginning of this year.
According to the Viet Nam Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the exports of tuna, the seafood product having the third largest export value after shrimp and tra fish, had reduced in volume and value two years ago.
Last year, its export value had a year-on-year fall of 7 per cent to US$526 million, and the value was initially expected to gain a year-on-year of 6.46 per cent to $560 million for this whole year, the association said.
However, that expectation was cut to $450 million for this year because of numerous challenges faced by local tuna exporters, it said.
In major export markets of Vietnamese tuna, including the US, Japan and ASEAN, exports of the local tuna had reduced since the end of last year.
In the first five months of this year, Viet Nam exported tuna products to 86 markets in the world, 16 markets more than in the same period last year. But the total export value of tuna saw a year-on-year drop of 19 per cent to $203.8 million.
During the first five months, the tuna export value to the US and ASEAN countries dropped 26.5 per cent and 29.5 per cent, respectively.
The tuna export value to Japan had a growth against the same period of last year but reduced 60 per cent as compared with the value in the early part of this year, it said. Meanwhile, the value to the EU had a year-on-year increase of 0.6 per cent
Therefore, the association said that by this year-end, Vietnamese tuna products would find it difficult to reach the industry's export target for this year.
The reasons for the reduction in export value include lack of supply, trade barriers and competition with other tuna exporting countries.
The association said that the larger markets have asked the exporter to meet the requirements on origin of seafood including the new EU Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing law and a certification for seafood traceability in the US.
However, Vietnamese exporters were finding it difficult to meet these requirements due to inadequate data on journals of seafood exploitation and preservation from fishermen.
The export markets have also tightened activities on managing food hygiene and safety.
These actions have made it difficult for local tuna exporters in increasing business in the large markets.
Viet Nam has not had a sustainable development plan for the tuna industry so the supply and quality of tuna has not been stable. Equipment for fishing and preservation of tuna is also antiquated.
Additionally, competitive ability of Vietnamese tuna products has also reduced due to low domestic supply and high import tax for tuna that used to be processed for export. Now, Viet Nam has imported 50 per cent of its demand for tuna with import tax between 10 to 24 per cent. — VNS