Rise in Vietnamese tuna exports to Canada

(seafood.vasep.com.vn) In the context of declining export of tuna to major markets in September, Canada emerged as a highlight, witnessing a remarkable growth of 142% compared to September 2017.

As a country with a highly developed fishing industry, Canada catches more than 3.800 MT of Pacific albacore tuna, however the amount is insufficient to meet domestic demand. Therefore, Canada still has to import tuna from other countries in the world. By the end of 2017, Canada is currently the 14th largest market for tuna imports in the world.

Tuna is one of the staple foods in many Canadian families, especially canned tuna. According to the statistics of the International Trade Center, the first half of 2018, Canada's canned tuna imports accounted for more than 86% of the country's total volume of tuna imports.

To meet the demand of domestic consumption and tuna production, Canada is importing tuna from 46 countries around the world. Thailand, the US, Vietnam, Philippines, Italy, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea are the main tuna supplies for this market in the first 8 months of 2018.

Among them, ASEAN countries account for more than 84% of the total volume of Canadian tuna imports. According to ITC statistics, the export of tuna of ASEAN countries to this market in recent years is not stable with constant sin-shaped fluctuations. The volume of Canadian tuna imports from ASEAN countries ranged from 1.7 to 3.7 thousand MT in the first 6 months of this year.

Currently Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines are the three largest tuna suppliers in ASEAN for this market. With the largest market share, accounting for nearly 75% of the total volume of Canadian tuna imports, Thailand is dominating the Canadian tuna market, especially in the market segment of canned tuna. Meanwhile, the Philippines and Vietnam only account for 4% market share.

Notably, while there was a tendency to reduce tuna imports from Thailand, imports from other sources, including Vietnam increased. This shows that Canadian businesses tend to diversify their supply sources, avoiding dependence on suppliers from Thailand. In addition, the high price of skipjack in Bangkok has reduced the competitive advantage of Thai canned tuna products in the Canadian market.

In addition, because the amount of tuna caught in Thailand tended to decrease in the previous time due to the ban on sea exploitation, Thailand's supply of processed tuna also became limited. Therefore, Canada must find alternative sources from other countries like the Philippines and Vietnam.

According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, in the first 9 months of this year, Canada has imported nearly 11 million USD of tuna products from Vietnam, up by 13.5% compared to the same period in 2017. In which, export value for frozen tuna / fillet products accounted for the highest proportion of 69%. Compared to last year, the export of tuna from Vietnam to Canada increased over the same period, except for the one of frozen tuna fillet.

While canned tuna products imported into Canada are subject to tax, fresh and frozen tuna products are exempted from import duty. Currently, Vietnam's canned tuna exports to Canada are subject to 4% tax, while the number for Thailand, Philippines, the US and Italy are 5.8%, 4%, 0% and 5.8% respectively.

With the exemption of import tax on fresh and frozen tuna and low tariff on canned tuna processing, Canada is the remarkable export market for businesses at this time, especially when the demand for tuna imports of traditional large markets like the US and EU are becoming more unstable.


Ms Van Ha

Email: vanha@vasep.com.vn

Tel: +84 24 37715055 (ext. 216)

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