While overall exports of Vietnamese tuna are not as satisfactory this year, exports of canned/processed tuna have been on the rise, exhibiting a 23% increase in the first eight months of 2020 compared to the same period last year. Processed tuna products include products such as tuna loins, which are used for canning purposes.
In August alone, exports of processed and canned tuna to the US increased by nearly 97% YOY with the average export price for frozen steamed yellowfin tuna (HS Code 1641490) and frozen tuna meat (HS Code 3048700) at USD 6.6 per kg and USD 9.3 per kg respectively. The increase in exports to the US was attributed to demand increases from the retail sector from the pandemic. Exports to other markets such as Canada, Israel, and Egypt also exhibited growth during 2020.
After exhibiting signs of recovery in the first seven months of 2020 in exports to Vietnam's three main EU markets: Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands with increases of 119%, 200%, 210% YOY respectively, overall tuna exports to the EU have not benefitted as much from the EVFTA. Currently, however, total tuna exports to the EU have decreased, mostly due to the effects of Brexit as it had previously been the biggest import market for canned tuna in the EU.
In contrast to the general demand for tuna, however, processed tuna exports rose compared to 2019 as demand for canned goods increased from the pandemic.
In addition, contrary to overall exports, exports of tuna to Vietnam’s main markets including Germany and the Netherlands remain positive, fueled in part by exports of processed/canned tuna. Products most in-demand are frozen tuna loins/meat (HS Code 3048700), which are subject to zero tariffs from the previous 18% over a 3-year period, and oil-poached tuna, which is subject to tariff exemption quotas. Vietnamese canned tuna exports, in general, are subject to a tariff quota of 11.5K tons.