(seafood.vasep.com.vn) After a period of continuous decline, Vietnam's tuna exports to the US have risen again. Yet, the growth rate is still low. Specifically, the value of Vietnam's tuna exports to the US in August and September spiked by 5.2% and 1.6%, respectively. Therefore, the total export value in the first 9 months of the year to the US was only over US$208 million, down 13.8% over the same period in 2019.
By the end of September 2020, Vietnam's exports of fresh, frozen, and dried tuna to this market continued to decline, down nearly 39% over the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, processed and canned exports elevated by nearly 29%. This growth helps the total export value of processed and canned tuna from Vietnam to the US to jump from 36.8% to 55%.
By the end of September 2020, the group of frozen fillets/meat tuna, code HS0304, remained the main export products of Vietnam to the US market. Having said that, the export value of this item has been decreasing compared to the same period in 2019. Currently, the proportion of the item has decreased to 44% of the total value of Vietnam's tuna exports to the US market in the first 9 months of 2020.
In contrast, Vietnam's canned tuna exports to the US market are on the rise. Canned tuna products of Vietnam exports to the US market are mainly canned skipjack tuna meat of all kinds. Compared to the previous quarter, the proportion of canned tuna exports of Vietnam has been increasing, and now this product group accounts for nearly 36% of the total export value of tuna to this market. Along with canned tuna, other Vietnamese processed tuna products exports to the US market has also been increasing.
The average export price of frozen fillets/meat tuna code HS03048700 from Vietnam to the US in the first 9 months of 2020 fluctuated at US$9.3/kg. Meanwhile, the average export price of frozen steamed fillets/ meat tuna code HS16041490 fluctuated at US$7.1/kg.
Currently, since US businesses are gathering up material that was soon depleted during the COVID-19 pandemic, US food and raw materials imports also surged sharply. Along with this trend, imports of processed tuna, such as frozen steamed tuna meat - raw materials for canned tuna production, and canned tuna into the US are also increasing year on year.
According to ITC's statistics, US imports of processed and canned tuna tended to grow steadily each month in the first 8 months of 2020. In particular, processed and canned tuna, the US imported more than 170 thousand MT in the first 8 months of 2020, worth nearly 835 million USD, up 25% in volume and 13% in value over the same period in 2019. This was the highest import volume in the past 5 years.
Thailand, the largest canned tuna supplier to the US market, jumped exports to the US market in the first 8 months of 2020, up 31% year-on-year. Along with Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia are also increasing exports of canned tuna to this market, with growth rates of 9% and 20% respectively.
Although there is still growth in canned tuna exports to this market, Vietnamese tuna products are difficult to compete with similar products from Indonesia and Mexico, due to higher prices. While the prices of canned tuna products from Indonesia and Mexico tended to decrease, the prices of Vietnamese products tended to lift.