(seafood.vasep.com.vn) In the first 4 months of 2022, Vietnam's tuna exports to Mexico were unstable. However, the total export value to this market still increased by 41% compared to the same period in 2021, reaching more than 5.1 million USD. Mexico is currently the 13th largest import market of Vietnam’s tuna in this period.
After the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) took effect, Vietnam's tuna exports to the Mexico market prospered. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused higher transportation costs, and affected the stability of the economy and the consumption demand in Mexico, making export to this market fluctuate.
According to the commitments in the CPTPP and the Most Favourited Nation Treatment (MNF), the tariff levied on Vietnam's frozen tuna meat/fillets (HS code 0304) to this market will be reduced from 15% to 0%. This creates a competitive advantage for Vietnam's tuna products compared to other Asian countries or Ecuador when exporting to Mexico.
Mexico is also a large tuna producer. However, the country's catch has decreased due to the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission's ban on fishing in the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean. Besides, the low supply of raw materials from foreign fishing fleets has boosted the raw tuna imports for canned production. Therefore, recently Mexico tends to import more steamed tuna loins from Asian countries, including Vietnam.
With these advantages, Vietnam's tuna exporters are expected to have many opportunities to boost exports to this market. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused sea transportation costs and the price of raw tuna to increase, all of these have affected the growth rate of Vietnam's tuna exports to this remote market.
Lately, the Mexico Government has decided to temporarily exempt import tax for 1 year for 66 food and hygiene items, including canned tuna. The decision was a part of measures to slow down the rise in price, and the fall in household consumption and to build the Anti-Inflation Package. This decision has partly affected the country's tuna imports and at the same time increased competition because the tariff advantages under Free Trade Agreements (FTA) are now meaningless. Therefore, extending Vietnam's tuna exports to Mexico in 2022 is expected to be more challenging. It is difficult for Vietnam to compete on price with suppliers in the same continent as Mexico like Ecuador or the cheap supply of tuna loin from China.
Currently, there are 5 enterprises participating in exporting tuna to the Mexican market: Bidifisco, Frescol Tuna Vietnam, Hai Thanh, An Hai Seafood, and Dai Viet Seafood.
Compiled by Thuy Linh