(seafood.vasep.com.vn) After months of continuous decline, Vietnam's tuna exports to the UK grew strongly again in September 2022. The value of tuna exports to this market in September increased by 162% compared to the same period in 2021. However, this figure was not enough to compensate for the previous decrease, so the export turnover to this market in the first 9 months of 2022, it still decreased by 28%, reaching nearly $3.4 million.
Since 2021, due to the impact of Brexit and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam's tuna exports to the UK are unstable and tend to decrease. The value of Vietnam's tuna exports to the UK in 2021 only reached nearly 9.3 million USD, down 23% compared to the same period in 2020.
Entering 2022, the dual impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, plus the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has impacted the British economy. Inflation in the UK has risen to a 40-year high and is almost the highest in Europe.
According to the statistics of the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), the country’s CPI rose 10.1% from 9.9% in August 2022 due to soaring food prices. Figures for September 2022 are similar to those recorded in July 2022 and are the highest in 40 years, caused by soaring energy bills.
Vietnam's tuna exports to the UK are still difficult to recover
Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased the most, up 14.5%, the biggest increase since April 1980. The British pound fell to 1.13 dollars per pound.
This has caused the food service industry in the UK to be severely affected, especially the fast food sector, by labor shortages and high commodity prices.
In the UK, tuna is used mainly in fast foods, like sandwiches, or in many meals while traveling. Currently, labor shortages have affected the UK foodservice industry and the labor-intensive fast-food sector such as sandwiches. Many factories had to cut down production. This has led to a decline in UK tuna imports.
UK tuna imports by the end of July 2022 have decreased by 5% in value compared to the same period in 2021. Vietnam is currently the 13th largest tuna supplier out of 27 tuna supplies to this market. In the current inflationary context, the UK tends to increase tuna imports from sources that are exempt from import taxes, from cheap and geographically advantageous tuna sources such as Ecuador, the Philippines, etc.
Regarding tariff advantages, the UKVFTA has a continuation mechanism from the EVFTA, which means that tariffs on fresh and frozen tuna products will be quickly eliminated. Tariffs on frozen tuna loins or fillets will be eliminated over a three-year period from 18% to 0%.
For processed tuna used for canned tuna – the base rate of 24% will be reduced over a 7-year schedule.
For canned and packaged tuna, the quota will be 11,500 tons per year which will be duty free. After that, the original tax rate of 20.5% will be applied, which will be reduced by 3.5% per year.
With this agreement, Vietnamese tuna products are also having an advantage in the UK market. However, with the current inflation and political instability, Vietnam's tuna exports to the UK are still difficult to recover.
Compiled by Thuy Linh