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Tuna exports may recover slowly in 2024


According to the Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), tuna exports in 2023 earned USD 845 million, a decrease of 17% compared to 2022.

VASEP believes that 2024 will be a year of many difficulties for the tuna industry, especially the European Commission (EC) maintaining a yellow card warning for Vietnam's caught seafood products.

In addition, the price of raw tuna on the world market has cooled down, but tensions in the Red Sea have caused transport costs to increase, causing the price of finished tuna to remain high.

Meanwhile, inflation in major countries has been contained, the world economy has bottomed out but has recovered slowly, so the demand for tuna imports in many countries has not shown signs of recovery. In addition, competition in markets is increasingly fierce and inventory levels of processing and exporting enterprises are high. All of these factors will hinder the recovery of Vietnam's tuna exports.

In addition to market difficulties, businesses also face many difficulties due to inadequacies in Vietnam's current food safety control regulations.

"Vietnam's billion-dollar industry is at risk of shrinking and competing for market share in Europe, as well as the supply of tuna raw materials when Vietnamese businesses are limited in many good raw material sources," VASEP stated.

In the last month of 2023, tuna exports achieved a slight growth of 7% compared to the same period in 2022, reaching USD 73 million. Exports to many markets increased over the same period such as the EU, Russia, Chile or the Philippines, in the opposite direction to exports to the US, Canada, Japan or Israel.

After two months of growth, tuna exports in December reached USD 25 million, decreased by 1% over the same period. For the whole year 2023, tuna exports to the US reached USD 326 million, a decrease of 33%.

Along with the US, Vietnam's second largest single tuna import market, Israel, is also experiencing negative growth of 6% in December. Overall in 2023, exports to this market increased by 37%, reaching more than USD 50 million.

Exports to Canada and Japan are also falling in December, with drops of 12% and 8% respectively.

Contrary to the trend of the above markets, tuna exports to the EU continue to gain good growth, an increase of 25% in December. However, for the whole year 2023, exports to this market only increased slightly by 6% compared to 2022.

In this market block, Italy is still a bright spot market with a "galloping" growth rate, an increase of 361% compared to 2022.

After a period of fluctuations, exports to this market are increasing continuously in the last months of 2023. In December alone, tuna exports to Russia increased by 96% over the same period. For the whole year 2023, exports to this market reached nearly USD 29 million, an increase of 18% compared to the previous year.


Kylie Nguyen

© 2019 Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development No. 2 Lang Ha street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi, Vietnam
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