Tuna exports to Europe jump 20%

Tuesday, Jun 04, 2013 11:09

Phu Yen farmers catch a tuna. Vietnamese tuna exports to Europe in the first five months of this year climbed 20 per cent year-on-year. — VNA/VNS Photo Hong Ky
HA NOI (Biz Hub)— While tra fish and shrimp exports face difficulties due to dumping accusations and antibiotic problems, Vietnamese tuna enjoys high consumption in Europe.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the export turnover of tuna reached US$155 million in the first five months of this year, up nearly 20 per cent year-on-year.

Explaining the high growth, the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said the European market had increased tuna imports after a long period of importing only small amounts due to economic difficulties.

However, the export value of Vietnamese tuna would rise even higher if fishermen stopped using bright lights to attract tuna, VASEP said. This method makes catching cheaper but results in lower quality tuna.

Together with tra fish, tuna is now one of the major seafood exports of Viet Nam.

Tuna obtained an export turnover of $380 million in 2011, accounting for 6.3 per cent of the country's seafood exports, and was exported to 83 countries.

Its export value rose to nearly $570 million last year, with the US market accounting for over $245 million (42 per cent) and the European market $114 million (20 per cent).

Meanwhile, the Mekong Delta provinces shipped 237,000 tonnes of tra fish in the five-month period, earning $616 million, down 6 per cent year-on-year.

The regional provinces zoned off 5,700ha of water surface for tra fish breeding and supplied 390,000 tonnes of material tra fish to processing factories.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said local breeders still faced difficulties, as production costs were higher than selling prices and bank loans were hard to access.

To help the farmers, the provinces have sent technical staff to show them how to meet export standards. They have also encouraged the breeders to apply new farming methods to improve the quality of their fish. — VNS

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