Years first tuna catch off to Japan

Monday, Feb 02, 2015 08:00

Fishermen in central coastal province of Binh Dinh catch tuna which meets standards for export. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuan Truong

BINH DINH (Biz Hub) — Seven tunas weighing 320 kilograms were selected in the central province of Binh Dinh on Saturday to be exported to Japan.

One hundred tunas, which were caught using Japanese technology, were brought to the provincial Quy Nhon seaport.

Besides the seven tunas to be exported to Japan by air, the remaining fish will be bought by the Binh Dinh fishery joint stock company (Bidifisco) at a cost higher than the current market price. This is the second batch of tuna to be exported to Japan, following an agreement between Bidifisco and its Japanese partner, the Kato Company. The first batch, comprising nine selected tunas, was exported in August last year.

The nine tunas were sent to Japan for a tuna auction at the Osaka wholesale market. Their average price was some VND240,000 per kilogram (US$11.3), three times higher than the purchase price in Binh Dinh Province. Furthermore, experts from Kato will cooperate with Binh Dinh to continue to instruct provincial fishermen on measures, fishing technologies and preservation methods to meet the export requirements of the Japanese market.

Tuna industry

After a dramatic growth of 58.4 per cent which accounted for nearly 8 per cent of the total aquatic product export turnover in 2012, the countrys tuna industry saw a decline in tuna exports for two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014.

The total value of Viet Nams tuna exports fell from $567.5 million to $527 million in 2013, and continued to fall to $484 million in 2014. Exports to major markets, such as the United States, Japan and the ASEAN region, as of the end of the year were bleak, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Moreover, in the two major import markets of the European Union (EU) and Japan, the value of tuna exports is witnessing a downward trend. Also, despite having recovered in the last months of 2014, the United States market did not record a significant change.

The Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) quoted General Secretary of VASEP Truong Dinh Hoe as saying there were two primary reasons behind the declining turnover in the industry.

First, demand in some tuna importing countries did not increase in 2013, as changes in production capacity and resources in 2012 and 2013 concerned them. As a result, they either did not increase their demand or bought even less last year. The second reason, Hoe said, was that the country imported about 50 per cent of raw tuna to process every year, but difficult import procedures limited the same last year.

According to the VASEP general secretary, Viet Nam will continue to see the same situations this year.

Despite difficulties, VASEP still set a target of a 4 to 5 per cent increase in the tuna export turnover in 2015, as compared to that in 2014. This is because it has been projected that the economies of the main export markets of Viet Nam, including Japan, EU and the United States, will recover this year. In addition, consumption in these markets is expected to increase in the initial months of the year, which is why VASEP believes that the export turnover could reach $510 million. — VNS

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