The nation’s tuna exports to major markets such as the United States and EU suffered a decline of 20% in the first half of the year due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.
As a result of the negative impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for canned tuna increased, with the US increasing imports of the product from the country, with a rise of approximately 10% on-year.
The nation grossed roughly US$57 million from exporting tuna to the EU market during the six-month period, marking a fall of 17% from the same period last year.
Moreover, Vietnamese tuna exports to the EU bloc witnessed an unprecedented level of fluctuation. Most notably, tuna exports to the Netherlands suffered a decline in May, although they recovered strongly in June, while exports to the German market continued to record positive growth.
Although the European-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is poised to come into effect in August, exports to the EU market are not anticipated to rebound in the near future due to the global impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Elsewhere, the ASEAN and Egyptian markets can be considered the bright spots for export growth, with export turnover reaching US$21 million and US$8 million, respectively, during the first half of the year.
This can be seen as the country’s exports of canned tuna to the ASEAN market increased sharply by 1,265% against the same period last year, whilst Egypt is currently importing a large quantity of processed and canned tuna from the Vietnamese market.