(seafood.vasep.com.vn) In May 2020, Vietnam's tuna export value to major markets remained low. This indicated that the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the tuna industry is still lasting.
By the end of May 2020, Vietnam's tuna export value reached nearly US$ 241 million, down nearly 20% compared to the same period in 2019. Export to most of the top 10 importers of Vietnamese tuna declined in value. Except for exports to Japan spiked by 31% and to Egypt surged by 76% over the same period in 2019.
Due to the impact of the epidemic, the demand for canned tuna products in the world continues to rise, which has also affected Vietnam's tuna exports. According to Customs statistics, only Vietnamese canned tuna exports have increased by 9% over the same period in 2019.
The US: Vietnamese tuna export to this market has not shown any sign of recovery. By the end of May 2020, Vietnamese tuna export value to the US was only nearly US$102 million, down 21% compared to the same period in 2019.
So far, the COVID-19 epidemic has continued to be complicated in the US, which has increased the demand for preserved food products in the country, including canned tuna. Therefore, canned tuna exports to this market still lifted by nearly 11% over the same period in 2019.
EU: The EU was also affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, especially in Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. Lockdown measure imposed in some countries like Italy caused a decline in the demand for seafood as the business of catering services, restaurants, hotels, and schools were closed. The business stall caused seafood distributors to reduce prices, affecting the price of imported seafood. Meanwhile, Vietnam's tuna product is difficult to compete with similar products from countries such as the Philippines and Ecuador due to high taxes. Besides, Vietnamese tuna was also affected by the yellow card warning by EC. Hence, Vietnamese tuna exports to the EU are facing many difficulties. By the end of May 2020, Vietnamese tuna export value to the EU reached US$ 48 million, down 11% compared to the same period in 2019. Of which, exports to Italy and the Netherlands in May fell, while exports to Germany continue to rise.
ASEAN: By the end of May 2020, the value of tuna exports to ASEAN reached US$15 million, down 17% from the same period in 2019. Thus, up to this point, ASEAN has been the third-largest importer of Vietnamese tuna (after the US and EU), accounting for 6.4% of the total tuna export value. Notably, tuna export to the biggest market in the region, Thailand also fell by 68%, exports to the Philippines decreased by 50% but the export value to Singapore increase sharply by 438% compared to the same period in 2019. This is the market that reached the highest growth among the top 10 importers of Vietnamese tuna.
With the complicated situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in major importers such as the US, the EU, ... tuna exports in the second quarter could hardly escape the negative growth. In the 3rd quarter, if the disease situation in some large importers is under the control, production, and business activities reopen, the tuna export will have a chance to recover.