Rise in Vietnam’s tuna exports

(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Vietnam's tuna exports has recovered in February 2017, after a decline in the first month of the year. The exports of key products also improved better than the same period last year. The rise is attributable that exports to major markets such as the U.S., EU and Japan has recovered.

Exported products

According to Vietnam Customs, the country’s tuna export value in February 2017 reached over US$36.6 million, an increase of 53% over the same period of 2016. This growth helped to offset the decline in tuna exports in Jan 2017. The sales in the first two months of 2017 totaled more than US$70.5 million, an increase of 16 percent over the first two months of 2016.

Exports of frozen tuna loin/fillets (HS0304) still accounted for the highest proportion of more than 46% of total tuna exports in the first two months of 2017. Next was canned tuna, accounting for 31%. Exports of both of these items by Vietnam in this period increased compared to the same period, especially canned tuna. Other processed tuna exports were also on the rise. Meanwhile, exports of frozen/fresh tuna tended to decrease.



Value (US$)

Variations (%)

Jan-Feb 2017

Jan-Feb 2016

Tuna HS 03 (1)




incl: -  Dried/frozen/fresh/live tuna (
                   HS03, ext HS0304)




                 - Tuna (HS0304)




Processed tuna HS16 (2)




incl: - Canned tuna (HS16)




                  - Other processed tuna (HS16)




Total (1 + 2)




(Source: Vietnam Customs)

Importing markets

By the end of February 2017, Vietnam has exported its tuna to 66 markets around the world. Among them, the US, the EU, Israel, ASEAN, Japan, Canada, Mexcio and Tunisia were top 8 largest importers of Vietnamese tuna, accounting for 87.2% of total tuna export value in the first two months of 2017. Compared with the same period of last year, top 8 markets have been changed, specifically China was off the top, Tunisia rose to be emerging market.

The US

After the slump in January, Vietnam's tuna exports to the US increased again. The value of tuna exports in the first two months of 2017 to the market reached US$25.3 million, up 17.6% over the same period in 2016.

Exports of Vietnamese tuna products to the US in this period increased over the same period. Of which, canned tuna exports increased the most with 60.5%. Despite the increase in global price of skipjack tuna, canned tuna exports of Vietnam reported the growth in the US.


Like the US, Vietnam's tuna exports to the EU recovered. The value of tuna exports to the market in the first two months of 2017 reached US$15.5 million, up 2.5% over the same period in 2016.

Germany, Italy and the Netherlands were 3 largest single markets of Vietnam tuna in the EU. In particular, tuna exports to Germany and the Netherlands continued to increase while to Italy was still low.

Most of tuna products exported by Vietnam to the market increased compared with the first two months of 2016, except for other processed tuna. Notably, the exports of canned tuna and tuna fillets/loin increased sharply 50% over the same period.


After a downward period, Vietnam's tuna exports to Japan has prospered. In the first two months of 2017, tuna exports reached US$3 million, up 70% over the same period in 2016.

The exports of all tuna products from Vietnam to Japan increased over the same period in 2016. Of which, canned tuna products showed an impressive growth of 123%. Fresh/dried/frozen tuna only increased by 28%.


Although at the beginning of 2017, the price of skipjack on the world market increased, affecting canned tuna consumption in large traditional markets such as the US and the EU. However, canned tuna exports of Vietnam to these markets still increased over the same period, this was a good signal. Besides, tuna exports to emerging markets such as Mexico and Tunisia have been boosted. Therefore, tuna exports of Vietnam in the coming time will be better than the same period of the previous year.

Written by Nguyen Ha 


Ms Van Ha

Email: vanha@vasep.com.vn

Tel: +84 24 37715055 (ext. 216)

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