Vietnam becomes largest tuna supplier to Israel

September 16, 2021 | 15:00
Vietnam has become the largest tuna exporter to the Israeli market after demand from the market boosted in the first haft of the year.
Vietnam becomes the largest tuna supplier to Israel
Israeli demand increased for Vietnamese tuna in the first half

According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, in the first half of August, Vietnam's tuna exports to Israel were down 19 per cent on-year. However, accumulated to August 15, the total value of Vietnam's tuna exports to Israel increased by 34 per cent over the same period in 2020, reaching nearly $25 million and accounting for 5.6 per cent of total tuna exports.

Israel continues to be Vietnam's third-largest single tuna export market after the US and Italy. The export turnover to this market is still increasing over the same period thanks to the offset from previous months.

According to the International Trade Centre, in the first half of this year, Vietnam surpassed Thailand to become the largest tuna supplier to Israel, accounting for nearly 31 per cent of total tuna imports. Notably, while Israel's tuna imports from most markets decreased, imports from Vietnam increased.

Compared to the same period in 2020, Vietnam's exports of tuna products increased. In particular, Vietnam's frozen tuna meat and fillet were the main export products to this market, accounting for 47 per cent of the total export value. The average export price of products to the Israeli market in the first seven months of this year stood at $5,464 per tonne.

Currently, eight enterprises are participating in exporting tuna to the Israeli market, the largest of which are Tuna Vietnam Co., Ltd., Binh Dinh Fishery JSC, and Hai Vuong Group.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, with the current growth rate of exports to Israel, export opportunities for Vietnam are wide open. However, tuna consumption in markets around the world is recovering and growing again, the fourth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam is causing businesses to export fish facing many difficulties. Many enterprises have to reduce processing capacity due to pandemic prevention measures.

Businesses claim it is very difficult to maintain export growth, including the promising export market of Israel. This can be clearly seen in the export results in the first half of August.

In 2019, after two people were hospitalised with food poisoning from eating tuna, Israeli consumers turned away from tuna products. This has led to a decline in sales in the market and affected its imports of processed and canned tuna. This trend has also caused Vietnam's tuna exports to decline continuously in 2018-2020. But from the end of 2020, tuna exports to this market have tended to recover. At one point, tuna exports to the Israeli market increased by 2.5 times compared to the same period in 2020, but still have not returned to 2018 levels.

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