Vietnam’s tuna exports to China rebounded

( After the continuous decline in the last 3 months, Vietnam's tuna exports to China rebounded. With this growth, Vietnam’s tuna exports to China next year expected to continue the rise.

According to statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam's tuna exports in Oct 2016 reached over US$1.7 million, up 42% compared to the same period last year. The figure in the first 10 months of this year increased by 54% over the first 10 months of 2015.

Recently, the resource depletion and implementation of the fishing ban in the Pacific areas had led to a fall in capture output, therefore, global supplies of tuna went down. To meet consumers’ demand and domestic production, China had to increase imports of tuna raw materials from other countries. Imports of fresh/live/chilled/frozen tuna into China in the first 8 months of the year hit 62 thousand MT, decreasing by 8% year on year.

Vietnam’s tuna exports by products to China (US$)


Jan-Oct 2016

Jan-Oct 2015

Variation (%)

Processed and canned tuna HS code 16




Fresh/chilled/frozen tuna HS code 03








However, imports of this item into China from Viet Nam were on the upward trend. In Jan-Oct 2016, Vietnam’s exports of fresh/live/chilled/frozen tuna to the market valued at US$15.5 million, up 75% compared to the same period last year.

In contrast, while China increased imports of canned tuna, Vietnam’s exports of the item to this market decreased. Vietnam’s exports of canned tuna to China in the first 10 months this year totaled US$1.2 million, down 36% compared to the same period in 2015.

Taiwan recently was the largest supplier of raw tuna to China; followed by the US, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. Vietnam’s exports to this market still took up a small share.

Currently, most imports of fresh/live/frozen tuna (including tuna loins) into China were processed into steamed tuna loins and canned tuna for re-exports. Meanwhile, most imports of canned tuna were processed for domestic consumption.

However, consumption demand for canned tuna in the China was not high. The reason was that Chinese consumers do not have the habit of using cold food, such as canned tuna. But Chinese younger generation chose canned tuna as a fast food product with health benefits.

China will be a potential market for fresh/live/chilled/frozen tuna. Viet Nam expected to boost tuna exports to this market thanks to the favorable geographical position. Besides, regulations on imports into China are not so strict as the US and EU.

Vietnam's tuna exports in the first months of 2017 predicted to continue the rise.

Written by Nguyen Ha

Compiled by Dieu Thuy


Ms Van Ha


Tel: +84 24 37715055 (ext. 216)

  • Vinh Hoan
  • Detail-Right-Top