In 2020, the COVID-19 epidemic has reduced the export of some Vietnamese marine products such as frozen tuna and other sea fish, frozen squid and octopus, but brought opportunities for dried and canned and processed seafood because they are suitable for home consumption, have a long shelf life, and can be processed quickly or ready to eat. Therefore, exports of many items such as canned tuna still increased by 19%, dried fish up 22%, dried marine shrimp grew 112%, dried squid added 29%, crabs extended 49%, fish sauce lifted by 24% ... Therefore, the total marine exports remained at 3.2 billion USD, equivalent to 2019.
In 2020, Vietnam's tuna industry brought an export turnover of 649 million USD, down nearly 10% compared to 2019. In which, the export of canned tuna and other processed tuna accounted for an outstanding proportion (52%) while frozen tuna accounts for 48%.
Tuna export decreased in the first half of the year, of which the strongest decline in the second quarter (-28%), in the third quarter it recovered slightly (up 2.1%) and in the fourth quarter only decreased by 0.5% over the same period of 2019 (reaching 172 million USD), demonstrating the flexibility of tuna exporters in using the opportunity to increase exports of canned and processed products. In product structure, exports of loin tuna and frozen fillets fell sharply (down 25%), mainly due to a decrease in the first 3 quarters of the year (in which the second quarter fell the most with a decline of 50%). The fourth quarter showed more positive signals with a decrease of only 4%. Meanwhile, canned tuna exports increased by 19% and the highest increase in the third quarter (up nearly 50%) and continued to increase 12% in the fourth quarter.
By the end of 2020, Vietnam's cephalopod exports reached $560 million, down 2.6% compared to 2019. Like tuna, cephalopod exports tended to recover in the second half of the year, whereby exports surged 12% in the third quarter and 10% in the fourth quarter reaching $162 million.
Frozen octopus accounted for the highest proportion (38%) with 216 million USD, down 11% mainly due to the deep drop in the first and second quarter (down 35% and 21%), but since the third quarter it has reversed with the increased by 11% and 3% respectively in the last 2 quarters of the year.
Frozen squid accounted for the second largest proportion (27%) with 154 million USD and surged 12% in the fourth quarter after declining in 3 consecutive quarters. Dried squid exports started to recover from the second quarter with a spectacular increase in 3 quarters: up 36% in the second quarter, 50% in the third quarter and 33% in the fourth quarter, bringing in $131 million in revenue in the past year, up 29% compared to 2019. Only processed octopus plummeted 20% to over 30 million USD in 2020 and decreased in the first 3 quarters of the year, then recovered slightly by nearly 4% in the fourth quarter.
In addition to tuna and cephalopod, exports of crab, bivalve mollusks and other marine fish all increased compared to 2019. In which, crab exports reached 182 million USD, up 22%, bivalve mollusk exports increased 12% to 105 million USD, other marine fish (except tuna) recovered slightly by 0.8% to 1.68 billion USD.