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Vietnam Faces Falling Tuna Exports To Main Markets

Declining exports of fresh and frozen tuna to its two main markets, the United States and Japan, has fueled the overall fall of Vietnam’s tuna exports so far this year. The first eight months of 2013 have seen a 4.6 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.


Fresh and frozen tuna exports from the country have dropped significantly, meaning positive sales of canned and processed tuna for Vietnam have not been considerable enough to compensate for the decline.

In 2012, Vietnam exported 41,635 tons of canned tuna and pre-cooked loins, and this number has increased continually since 2009. Last year, Vietnam ranked ninth across the globe for exports of these processed tuna products.
Vietnam sold tuna to 90 different markets in the first eight months of this year, expanding 10 markets from 2012, but these positive trends could not cover the short fall for fresh and frozen tuna.
Japanese businesses have now expressed an interest in tuna products from Vietnamese provinces Binh Dinh, Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa. The Japanese market will import tuna from these areas providing that it meets the usual quality and hygiene standards.
Binh Dinh province fishermen have caught more than 7,320 tons of tuna since the beginning of 2013 but exports prices have been falling.
The Provincial People’s Committee Chairman Le Huu Loc expressed Japan’s interest in also hiring Vietnamese migrant agro-forestry and seafood laborers who would be trained to harvest, process and preserve farm products, including tuna. The provincial Department of Labor Invalids and Social Affairs is developing plans to send workers to Japan, majoring in tuna processing and preservation.