Prospects for Vietnamese tuna exports to EU
(11/8/2019 12:00:00 AM)
In 2018, tuna prices were generally softer
than in 2017, but this did not have any impact on demand in the EU
market. The amount of inventories in the EU market in the past year was
high and the demand for ordinary canned tuna products was at saturation
levels, thus affecting the import trend in this market. In the first 11
months of 2018, the EU's tuna imports decreased by 5% to 923 thousand
tonnes compared to the same period in 2017. However, in terms of export
value, EU's tuna imports still climbed by 11% compared to 2017, reaching
more than US$5 billion.
Spain, Italy, France and the UK
were the largest tuna importers in the EU. In particular, Spain's tuna
imports accounted for 34% of total EU tuna imports; followed by Italy at
17%, France at 11% and Britain at 10%. Compared to 2017, imports of
Spanish and Italian tuna tended to go up, whereas imports to France and
Britain went down. With an impressive growth rate, Spain has become the
largest tuna import market of Vietnam in the EU.
the main export product being frozen tuna (HS code 0304), Vietnam is
currently the second largest supplier to EU, after Korea. In 2018,
exports of this product line to the EU increased 30% compared to 2017.
The Netherlands, Italy and Belgium are the 3 largest importers of
Vietnamese frozen tuna (HS code 0304) in the EU market.
of frozen tuna loins increased, whereas Vietnamese canned tuna to EU
decreased. In addition, other processed tuna products (tuna in oil,
frozen tuna flake ...) increased. Specifically, compared to 2017, the
export revenue of canned tuna decreased by 14%, while other processed
tuna increased by 77%. Vietnam is currently the14th largest processed
and canned tuna suppliers to EU.
In 2018, due to the high price of
tuna in Malta and the catch in this area fell, causing the supply to be
limited. EU countries, therefore, tend to find alternative tuna
suppliers from Asian countries like China or Vietnam.
It is expected that this trend
will continue in the first months of 2019 due to low capture fisheries
production in some EU countries. In addition, the EU still applies duty
free quotas for 25,000 tons of pre-cooked tuna fillet/ loins from third
countries - those without trade agreements with the EU such as Thailand,
Vietnam and China. Therefore, the EU still increase tuna imports from
Vietnam, especially in the context of the two sides preparing to
officially sign the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement.