Despite a sharp fall in exports before the end of 2022 due to global inflation, tuna still brought home US$1 billion in revenue last year, up 34% from 2021, becoming a billion-dollar commodity for the first time, data showed.
Tuna products of Vietnam were shipped to 99 markets, of which the U.S., the EU, members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Israel, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the Philippines, and Egypt were the largest importers, accounting for 92% of total exports, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
Germany, Spain, and Belgium were the biggest EU buyers of Vietnamese tuna. Notably, shipments to Germany and Spain shot up 161% and 117% last December, respectively.
Tuna exports to Japan, a CPTPP member, grew fast in the last quarter of 2022. The value surged 131% year on year in December alone, helping raise the export turnover to CPTPP markets to nearly $136 million, up 48%.
Meanwhile, strong declines were recorded in shipments to many other markets, VASEP said, noting that after dropping in November, tuna exports to the U.S. fell by another 38% in December. However, last year’s exports to this market still rose 44% to approximate $487 million.
VASEP forecast the export in the first quarter of 2023 will be unable to sustain its 2022 performance, but markets may recover in the latter half of this year. Free trade agreements are the driver for tuna exports in the year’s beginning.
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