(seafood.vasep.com.vn) After a decline in 2021, Vietnam's tuna exports to Spain in the first 10 months of 2022 have not yet recovered. According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, the value of Vietnam's tuna exports to this market during this period is not stable. Accumulated in the first 10 months of 2022 tuna export turnover to Spain reached nearly 19 million USD, up 4% over the same period in 2021, but still lower than before the pandemic.
Since May, tuna exports to Spain have decreased continuously. However, exports to this market showed signs of recovery in the last quarter of the year when it increased by 33% in October and this growth continued in the first half of November with an increase of 112%.
Spain is currently the largest tuna importer in the EU and the second largest tuna import market of Vietnam. In the first 9 months of 2022, Spain's tuna imports increased compared to the same period in 2021, and nearly as before the pandemic. Spanish importers are tending to increase tuna imports from external sources. In the context of high inflation causing consumers to tighten their spending, Spanish producers try to lower production costs by finding cheap supply with preferential tariff.
Vietnam tuna exports to Spain increase at the end of the year
Spain is currently importing mainly frozen tuna meat/loin HS code 0304 and frozen steamed tuna loin HS code 16 from Vietnam, accounting for 55% and 44% respectively. According to the agreement in the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Vietnam (EVFTA), Vietnam's frozen tuna meat/loin products exported to the EU will have tariffs eliminated in 4 years from 18%. Currently, these products exported to the EU are being taxed at 4.5%. With this tax rate, Vietnam's competitiveness is lower than products enjoying preferential tariffs from Ecuador, Mexico, PNG or Mauritius.
In the processed tuna segment, frozen steamed tuna loin products with HS code 16 are being tax exempt according to the quota of 11,500 tons/year. These products can't compete with cheap Chinese products, or Ecuador's duty free.
One of the reasons why tuna exports to Spain increased at the end of the year was due to a sharp increase in exports of frozen steamed tuna loins with HS code 16. These shipments to Spain will be stored in bonded warehouses and will be cleared as soon as the preferential tariff quotas under EVFTA are restarted in early 2023.
Currently, there are more than 15 enterprises participating in exporting tuna to the Spanish market. Bidifisco, Tuna Vietnam and Nha Trang Bay are the 3 largest tuna exporters in this market, accounting for nearly 84%.
Compiled by Thuy Linh