(seafood.vasep.com.vn) The Covid-19 outbreak in the Japanese market continued to affect the tuna industry in this country. Japanese people are changing their tuna consumption habits by switching from eating at restaurants to eating at home. Although sushi restaurants have converted to take-out, sales have still declined.
Vietnam, along with three other Southeast Asian countries, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, were the largest suppliers of canned tuna for the Japanese market in the first 5 months of this year. Compared to other countries in the region, Vietnam has the highest export growth rate of processed and canned tuna products in the first 5 months of 2020. However, Vietnam's market share in the Japanese market was modest compared to the other three countries.
Moreover, after growing well in the first 5 months of 2020, Vietnam's tuna exports to Japan tended to decrease. According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, the value of Vietnam's tuna exports to Japan in June diminished by 39.4%, reaching more than US$1.7 million.
In the first half of 2020, exports of other processed tuna from Vietnam to Japan tend to increase, while exports of fresh, live, frozen and canned tuna have decreased. This has led to an increase in the proportion of exports of processed and canned tuna products from 61% in the second quarter of 2019 to nearly 77% in the same period in 2020. Notably, the export of other processed tuna products, especially frozen steamed tuna loin products (HS16041490) continued to increase over the same period in 2019. Compared to the same period in 2019, the average export price of processed tuna to Japan fell, while the prices of frozen tuna meat/fillets products tend to go up.
Currently, the Covid-19 epidemic in Japan has not yet been controlled, which is expected to continue affecting Japan's imports of tuna. Japanese tuna imports are expected to continue to decline in the coming months.