Vietnam tuna exports to EU up 2.4% in 2020 despite of Covid pandemic

( The Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Vietnam (EVFTA) was a lever for tuna exports to the EU market in the fourth quarter of 2020. The value of Vietnam's tuna exports to this market increased continuously in the fourth quarter, reaching nearly 38 million USD, up 20% over the same period in 2019. As a result, the total value of exports to the EU in the whole year 2020 went up to 136 million USD, up by 2.4% compared to 2019.

However, in 2020, due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, EU processors' demand for import of cheap frozen steamed tuna meat/loin (loin) increased, reaching the highest level in the past 5 years. Currently, the main suppliers of frozen steamed tuna in the EU are from countries outside the bloc, accounting for nearly 96% of the total import volume. Although Vietnam's export price decreased, it still could not compete with products from China, Ecuador, Mauritius ...

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In the EU, Italy, Germany and Spain are the three largest tuna import markets. In 2020, Vietnam's tuna exports to Italy and Germany both increased compared to 2019, while to Spain decreased.

Vietnam's tuna exports to Italy grew spectacularly in 2020. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, the supply of tuna from countries such as Ecuador and Solomon to the EU market was limited, and the importers of tuna EU, especially countries with a developed canned tuna production industry such as Italy, are looking for alternative sources, including Vietnam. In addition, the EVFTA Agreement has helped Vietnam become a destination for Italian tuna importers.

In the German market, Vietnam exports the most canned tuna products. According to Eurostate statistics, Vietnam was the 5th largest supplier, accounting for about 5% of the total volume of German canned tuna imports in the first 9 months of 2020. After a decrease in 2019, exports of canned tuna of Vietnam to Germany in 2020 has recovered, increasing by 64%. In the year, the average price of canned tuna exports from Vietnam to Germany is 2,927 EUR/ton, down by 2%. Canned tuna products from Vietnam to the German market had the lowest average import prices among sources. Vietnam exports mainly tuna products with sauce, tuna in sauce with peas and onions ... to this market. In recent years, canned tuna products imported from countries getting preferential tariffs such as Ecuador, the Philippines, PNG or Ghana have been dominant. The payment of 24% more import tax makes canned tuna products from countries that are not entitled to tariff incentives difficult to compete. Therefore, the entry into force of the EVFTA Agreement has boosted the export of canned tuna to this market.

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