Tuna exports unlikely to see recovery in 2021

VOV.VN - Vietnamese tuna exports are unlikely to record a bounce back during the year ahead due to the complicated nature of developments regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic globally, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The association stated that the country’s tuna exports during 2020 endured an annual decline of 9.8% to US$649 million, with the item anticipated not to enjoy a recovery this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic not being brought under control in several major markets worldwide.

Furthermore, the United States, the largest export market for Vietnamese tuna, is facing fierce competition from cheap canned tuna products from China.

Simultaneously, several major importers in the US, including Walmart, Bumble Bee, and Chicken of the Sea, have turned to seek sustainable supply sources of tuna, which could potentially reduce the import demand for tuna products.

With regard to the EU market, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) can be considered as leverage to boost tuna exports to the demanding European market in the year ahead.

Despite these advantages, frozen steamed tuna fillet products, a key Vietnamese key export item, is projected to experience a downward trajectory in the opening months of the year. This is due to these products enjoying tax incentives under the EVFTA, therefore, they will not exempt from a preferential tariff of 0% in line with the autonomous tariff rate quota (ATQ) when being exported to the EU.

Moreover, the import quota for this type of product in line with the ATQ has been increased to 35,000 tonnes from 2021, thereby creating favourable conditions for Chinese tuna exporters.

At present, the country has 205 local businesses exporting tuna products to 108 markets globally, with the US, the EU, ASEAN, Israel, and Canada making up the nation’s five major markets.

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