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US tuna imports tended to go up
November 21, 2019, 06:15 PM
(seafood.vasep.com.vn) According to statistics of the International Trade Center (ITC), after the decline in the first 2 months of 2019, US tuna imports increased continuously. Total tuna imports of the country in the first 8 months of 2019 reached 185 thousand tons, worth US$1.3 billion.

In 2019, imports of 2 groups of live, fresh, frozen and canned, processed tuna of the US increased over the same period. In the first eight months of 2019, US's live, fresh and frozen tuna imports increased by 16% over the same period in 2018, while canned tuna imports climbed by 2.5%.

In the market segment of live, fresh and frozen tuna in the US, the positive market trend has attracted many suppliers. US's consumption of live, fresh and frozen tuna in the first 8 months of 2019 has improved. As a result, US imports of live, fresh and frozen tuna from major suppliers mostly increased during this period.

Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are currently the 3 largest suppliers of live, fresh and frozen tuna for the US market. This year, Vietnam's market share in live, fresh and frozen tuna segment is on the rise compared to the same period. In 2018, Vietnam accounted for only 16% of the market share in this segment, in 2019 the market share went up to 22%. Moreover, the export growth rate of Vietnam's live, fresh and frozen tuna (55%) was also higher than that of Indonesia (31%) and the Philippines (4%).

In the segment of processed and canned tuna, the market trend also rose similarly. US's imports of processed and canned tuna rose, demonstrating that the demand for processed and canned tuna has improved.

Canned tuna accounted for about 60% of canned seafood consumed in the US. Canned tuna consumption per capita of the US decreased from 1.7kg (in 1989) to 952g (in 2017). Notwithstanding, the US population increased very quickly, from 247 million in 1989 to 327 million in 2017. As a result, canned tuna imports of the US have improved.

Imports of frozen steamed tuna loin and canned tuna (canned tuna in water salt/in oil) remained unchanged from the previous year. In contrast, imports of packaged/conveniently packaged light meat tuna (skipjack and yellowfin tuna) and white meat tuna (longfin, albacore tuna) tended to increase. This showed that the US market increasingly favor better quality tuna products.

A positive trend of canned, processed tuna in the US market has attracted the supply from big tuna suppliers in the world. Canned, processed tuna imports of the US from 8 main suppliers increased over the same period. In particular, Thailand, Ecuador and Vietnam were the 3 largest suppliers.

In this segment, the market share of Vietnam also increased over the same period. In 2018, Vietnam accounted for only 7% of the market share in the US canned, processed tuna segment, in 2019 the market share went up to more than 10%.

The export growth rate of Vietnamese canned, processed tuna to the US was also at a good rate, up 51% over the same period and was higher than Thailand (up 5%) and Ecuador (up 2%).

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