Vietnam’s tuna exports to EU surge thanks to trade deal

Workers unload yellowfin tuna at a fishing port in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, April 4, 2019. Photo: AFP/Chaideer Mahyuddin. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

HANOI, Sep 18, 2020, VN Express. Tuna has become one of Vietnam’s first export items to benefit from the country’s free trade deal with the E.U., with shipments surging in August. They rose 65 percent year-on-year to $6.3 million in the first half of August after the landmark EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) took effect at the beginning of the month, VN Express reported.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) attributed the rise to the trade deal. Most of the orders were for frozen, steamed and canned products, which have all seen tariffs scrapped or reduced, it said.

There is potential for further growth, it added.

The share of tuna in total exports to the bloc had dropped from 24 percent in 2018 to 19 percent last year.

Some technical customs issues last month had posed difficulties and increased costs for Vietnamese exporters, but they have been resolved and exports are set to grow even stronger in the remaining months of the year, VASEP said.

Vietnam’s tuna exports grew by 10.2 percent last year to over $719 million, with the largest buyers being the U.S., the E.U. and ASEAN.

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