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Egypt - The potential buyer of Vietnamese tuna
October 18, 2018, 09:26 AM
(seafood.vasep.com.vn) As the largest tuna importer in the Middle East, Egypt annually imports about US$130 million of tuna products of all kinds. Currently, Egypt was also Vietnam's second largest tuna importing market in the Middle East. Vietnam's tuna exports to Egypt in the first seven months of 2018 showed the impressive growth of 244% over the same period of 2017.

Of that, imports of canned tuna accounted for 99% of the total import value of tuna into the country in recent years. 100% of canned tuna products in Egypt were imported due to the fact that the country does not have any processing plants. Most of the processed/canned tuna products imported into this country are for domestic consumption, with only a few being exported to Sudan.

Egypt also mainly imported canned tuna products from Vietnam. The export value of this item always accounted for over 97% of the total value of Vietnam's tuna exports to the market. This year, Vietnamese enterprises boosted exports of fresh/live/frozen and dried tuna to this market, although the value was still low.

Egypt currently imported tuna from 12 countries around the world. Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, China and Italy were the six largest tuna suppliers to the Egyptian market. Of that, ASEAN countries accounted for over 91% of the total value of Egyptian tuna imports over the past 10 years. The value of tuna imports from ASEAN countries ranged from US$44 to US$214 million. Thus, the increase in supplies from ASEAN countries has a great impact on Egyptian tuna imports.

Notably, while Egypt tended to reduce imports of tuna from Thailand and Indonesia, imports from other suppliers, including Vietnam, increased over the past 10 years. The reason was that the price of skipjack in Bangkok increased, thus, Egypt has to find other sources of competitive prices, including Vietnam.

In the context of the stagnant demand for canned tuna in two major markets, the US and the EU, Egypt has become an attractive market for Vietnamese canned tuna products. 

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