Tuna exports declined by 2.4% in September

Vietnam’s tuna exports saw a decrease in September following a partial recovery in recent months. Half of the top eight biggest buyers of Vietnamese tuna recorded their import value much less than the same period last year.

General Department of Vietnam Customs told the tuna export value reached US$53 million in September, down 2.4% from last year. However, total export value in the first nine months of 2019 increased 15.4% with US$547 million worth due to the growth in previous months.

The US

The sales of Vietnamese tuna to the US in September retained its growth with 39% rise as compared to the same period last year, making the US market share over total Vietnam’s export volume keep increasing.

According to the experts, Vietnam is taking advantages from the continuing US-China trade tension. Tuna HS16, mainly frozen steamed skipjack tuna/yellowf in tuna loin the first nine months of 2019 increased by 184% from last year. Canned tuna exports increased by 32% and frozen tuna loin HS0304 increased by 51%.


The sale of Vietnamese tuna in the EU market has been seeing a downward trend with export value in the first nine months declining by 33%. This gave Vietnam’s tuna export in the first nine months of 2019 a worth of US$106 million, down 10%.

There was a change in the rank of the top three buyers of Vietnamese tuna among the EU countries. Spain was given the first rank with market share of 3.6%, reaching nearly US$20 million in the first nine months, followed by Italy 3% and the Netherlands 2.0%.

Remarkably, Vietnam’s sale of tuna to these three markets declined in September. However, growth in the previous month helped Vietnamese tuna export value to Italy retain an increase by 25.8% from last year.

Among the tuna products exported to EU, fresh tuna, frozen tuna and dried tuna HS03 (except frozen tuna HS0304) saw a rise from last year. The others have suffered from decline.


Despite consecutive growth in the previous two months, tuna exports to ASEAN in the first nine months decreased by 24%. This has led to 4.4% fall of total tuna export value in the first nine months (with US$37.5 million).

The slump was caused by noticeable decline in sales in Thailand which was once the biggest buyer of Vietnamese tuna. This year,exports of fresh tuna, frozen tuna and dried tuna to Thailand increased by 122% while exports of the key processed tuna declined by 21% from last year.


Vietnam’s tuna export value to Japan in September increased by 19.4% from last year, giving total value in the first nine months of the year went up by 7.3% as compared to the same period last year.

Most of Vietnamese tuna products exported to Japan increased from last year, except frozen tuna loin HS0304. Once being the key product to be exported to Japan, the frozen tuna loin HS0304 has been trailed by other processed tuna which is accounting for more than 46% of the export value. Beside this, exports of canned tuna is experiencing an upward trend in the Japanese market.


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