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Tuna exports to the US in the first quarter tended to decrease due to low demand, high inventories

VASEP believes that due to the economic downturn, tuna exports to the US in the first quarter of 2023 are on a downward trend due to low demand and high inventories.

According to the Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), after continuously growing in the first nine months of 2022, Vietnam's tuna exports to the US declined continuously in the last quarter of the year.

Specifically, tuna export turnover to the US in the fourth quarter of 2022 only reached USD 82 million, down 27% compared to the same period in 2021. However, this figure is still 21% higher than in the same period in 2019 — the time before the pandemic.

For the whole year of 2022, the value of tuna exports to the US reached nearly USD 487 million, up 44% compared to 2021. With this result, the US is the largest importer of Vietnamese tuna, accounting for nearly 44% of the export turnover of this item.

Source: VASEP

According to VASEP, the US economy grew more than expected in the last quarter of 2022, but US consumer demand remained low. This shows that the economic recession is still a considerable risk this year, affecting Vietnam's tuna exports to the US. "Tuna exports to the US in the first quarter of 2023 will tend to decline due to low demand and high inventories.", VASEP forecasts.

In terms of species structure, the proportion of Vietnam's exports of fresh, frozen, and dried tuna products to the US market increased from 58% to 72%, of which mainly frozen tuna meat/loin was exported to the US market. As a result, this product from Vietnam to the US in 2022 will increase by 73% compared to 2021, reaching nearly USD 350 million.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, frozen tuna meat/loin exports decreased in the last 3 months due to lower consumer demand and high inventories. This leads to the price of this item in the previous quarter of 2022 having cooled down compared to before, fluctuating at $12.2/kg, down 12% compared to the third quarter of 2022.

While frozen tuna meat/loin grew strongly, canned tuna exports to the US declined. The increase in freight rates in the first months of the year and high prices of vegetable oil and steel have pushed up the cost of finished canned tuna.

This has led the US to reduce imports of canned tuna and tend to increase imports of frozen steamed tuna loins for domestic production. According to General Department of Customs statistics, canned tuna exports to the US in 2022 decreased by 8%, while exports of other processed tuna increased by 13%.

Among 74 enterprises participating in exporting tuna to the US market, Hai Long Nha Trang Seafood Co., Ltd., Highland Dragon Co., Ltd., and Mariso Vietnam Co., Ltd. have the most significant export value, accounting for 33% of the total export value.

(Enterprise and Business)



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