Tuna exports expected to grow by 20 per cent in H1

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024 08:06

Workers process tuna for export. Tuna exports are projected to increase by 20 per cent in the first half of this year to US$456.8 million. — Photo nongnghiep.vn

Tuna exports are projected to reach US$456.8 million in the first half of the year, a year-on-year increase of 20 per cent, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

After decreasing in 2023, exports rose by 22 per cent in the first five months of the year to US$388 million.

Shipments of canned tuna products, bagged tuna and frozen loin/fillet increased by 44 per cent, 24 per cent, and 7 per cent.

Exports of frozen whole tuna nearly tripled.

Exports to most markets increased, with those to the US and EU, the two largest, rising by 30 per cent and 37 per cent and accounting for 37 per cent and 22 per cent of total exports.

Exports to Israel, Russia and South Korea rose by 64 per cent, 58 per cent and 66 per cent.

Speaking at the association’s annual general conference in HCM City on June 10, Cao Thị Kim Lan, director of the Bình Định Fisheries Joint Stock Company, said in 2023 Việt Nam became the world’s fifth largest exporter of tuna behind Thailand, Ecuador, Spain, and China, rising from eighth place 10 years ago.

She said a notable milestone was achieved in 2022 when exports of the fish topped $1 billion.

She spoke about the potential of the tuna industry.

“We have hi-tech tuna processing factories, experienced and skilled labourers and reputable products that are exported to nearly 100 markets.

“With more than 30 years of experience, I believe the Vietnamese tuna industry can grow further if we make efforts to overcome internal challenges and resolve difficulties faced by the industry with support from the Government.”

She said exports could reach $1 billion again this year if the raw material shortages are resolved.

She pointed out more than 50 per cent of exports are processed from imported tuna.

Firms have difficulty obtaining statements of catch for raw material at fishing ports (the statement issued by competent authorities to verify raw materials from fishing that do not violate IUU regulations) after finalising the purchase of raw materials, according to Lan.

She listed a number of reasons why they were unable to get the statements, including issues related to safety conditions and catching in illegal waters.

Another issue is that a number of fishing vessels have installed the VNPT electronic monitoring system but regularly encounter technical errors, causing a disconnection between the vessels and the system monitoring fishing activities for six hours or more, even two to three days.

Buyers could not know these issues when they purchase the fish, she said.

She said localities and other competent agencies needed to implement well checking hygiene and food safety conditions of fishing vessels and fishing ports in line with Government regulations.

She said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should consider amending regulations so that the certificates of raw materials could be issued immediately when loading and unloading are completed from fishing vessels under the supervision of port staff.

"In cases where fishing vessels lose connection due to telecom service providers’ fault, the ministry needs to provide guidance on issuing the certificates to businesses," she said.

She said the ministry needed to establish “a digital input data system connecting fishing ports and the Government. This is basic information for the Government and ministries to issue appropriate directions and policies.” — VNS

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