After 9 months of continuous growth, Vietnam’s tuna exports to EU decreased in the last 3 months of 2018. According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, tuna exports value in the last 3 months of the year only reached US$40.5 million, down 10.7% compared to the same period in 2017. However, in 2018 Export value of tuna rose by 11.5%, reaching US$158 million.
In terms of the export structure of tuna products to the EU market, it is worth noting that export of other processed tuna tends to increase. Meanwhile, canned tuna products declined. Currently, other processed tuna products are dominant in the group of processed and canned tuna products to this market.
The top 3 biggest tuna export markets from Vietnam to the EU changed in 2018. With the impressive growth continuously at 3 digits in the past months, Spain is occupying the top position with a total export value of US$30 million. Followed by the Netherlands with US$25 million. Meanwhile, exports of tuna to Germany continued to decline, which made this market drop to the 3rd position.
According to ITC, in the first 10 months of 2018, EU tuna imports decreased by 47% compared to the same period in 2017. In particular, import of canned tuna declined by 46%, while imports of loin/fillets frozen tuna dropped by 47%.
In the market segment of canned tuna, Italy, Spain, France, England and Germany were the 5 largest import markets for this product in the EU. Compared to the same period in 2017, import of canned tuna of all 5 markets increased in value, but in terms of volume, only Spain has the growth.
Ecuador remained the largest supplier of canned processed tuna for the EU. The value of canned tuna processing from Ecuador to the EU accounted for 19% of the total import value of this market. Followed by Mauritius and the Philippines with 7% and 6% respectively. Meanwhile, Vietnam was the 14th largest supplier canned processed tuna for the EU, accounting for only 1.2%.
For this canned processed product of HS16 code, Vietnam was still difficult to compete with the import tax rate of 20.5%, while Ecuador has an advantage with 0% tax rate. China was subject to a 24% higher tax rate than Vietnam, while the Philippines enjoys 0%.
In the loin/ frozen tuna fillets, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany were the 5 largest import markets for this product in the EU. Compared to the same period in 2017, while Germany reduced imports of these products, the remaining 4 countries were all increasing. Vietnam was the second largest supplier of frozen loin/ filet tuna for the EU, after Korea.
In general, in 2018, because of the high price of tuna at Manta, the catch in this area decreased, causing the supply to be limited. So EU countries tend to find alternative suppliers from Asian countries like China or Vietnam.
For frozen tuna loin/ fillet, with a tariff of 14.5%, Vietnam has no advantage over Korea, or Mexico and Ecuador – the two countries were enjoying 0% tax.