(seafood.vasep.com.vn) As the largest tuna buyer in the Middle East, Egypt annually imports about US$130 million of tuna products. In particular, imports of canned tuna accounted for 99% of the country's total tuna imports over the last 10 years. 100% of canned tuna products in Egypt are imported, which is due to the fact that the country does not have a processing plant. Most of processed canned tuna products into this country are for domestic consumption, with a few being exported to Sudan.
Egyptians like to eat canned tuna with bread. Currently, the item has become so popular in the country because of its reasonable price for native living, and it is considered as a source of protein from meat. Canned tuna is being sold everywhere in Egypt, from small grocery stores to big supermarkets.
From 2007 to 2012, tuna imports into Egypt jumped from US$46 million to the highest level of US$220 million. However, the country's tuna imports dropped dramatically by 32% to US$149 million in 2013 and then recovered in the next years with the growth of 10% per year.
Egypt currently imported tuna from 12 countries around the world. Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and Italy were top 6 largest tuna suppliers to the Egyptian market by the end of 2016.
Of the suppliers, ASEAN countries have accounted for over 91% of the total value of tuna imports into Egypt over the past 10 years. The value of tuna imports from ASEAN countries ranged from US$44 million to US$214 million. Thus, the fluctuation in supplies from ASEAN countries has a great impact on Egypt’s tuna imports.
Tuna imports from Vietnam into the market made up the share of 0.1% to 1.8%.
According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, Egypt was the 2nd largest tuna buyer of Vietnam in Middle East. In the past 10 years, Vietnam's tuna export value to the market has increased, from US$152,000 to US$4.2 million. In the first 7 months of this year, Vietnam's tuna exports to Egypt reached nearly US$1.4 million, up 1.5% compared to the same period last year.
Vietnam currently ranked the 3rd largest tuna supplier to the Egyptian market, behind Thailand and Indonesia. In the last two years, tuna imports from Thailand and Indonesia into Egypt decreased while those from Vietnam increased. The reason was that the price of skipjack tuna increased; therefore, the country looked for other cheaper supplies, including Vietnam. In the coming time, Vietnam’s tuna exports to the market expected to continue the upward trend.