2015's first tuna catch off to Japan

Seven tunas weighing 320 kilograms were selected in the central province of Binh Dinh on January 31 to be exported to Japan.
Seven tunas weighing 320 kilograms were selected in the central province of Binh Dinh on January 31 to be exported to Japan.

One hundred tunas, which were caught using Japanese technology, were brought to the provincial Quy Nhon seaport.

This is the second batch of tuna to be exported to Japan, following an agreement between the Binh Dinh fishery joint stock company (Bidifisco) and its Japanese partner, the Kato Company. The first batch, comprising nine selected tunas, was exported in August 2014.

The nine tunas were sent to Japan for a tuna auction at the Osaka wholesale market. Their average price was some 240,000 VND per kilogram (11.3 USD), three times higher than the purchase price in Binh Dinh province.

Furthermore, experts from Kato will cooperate with Binh Dinh to continue to instruct provincial fishermen on measures, fishing technologies and preservation methods to meet the export requirements of the Japanese market.

Besides the seven tunas to be exported to Japan by air, the remaining fish will be bought by Bidifisco at a cost higher than the current market price.

After a dramatic growth of 58.4 percent which accounted for nearly 8 percent of the total aquatic product export turnover in 2012, the country's tuna industry saw a decline in tuna exports for two consecutive years in 2013 and 2014.

The total value of Vietnam's tuna exports fell from 567.5 million USD to 527 million USD in 2013, and continued to fall to 484 million USD in 2014. Exports to major markets, such as the United States, Japan and the ASEAN region, as of the end of the year were bleak, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Moreover, in the two major import markets of the European Union (EU) and Japan, the value of tuna exports is witnessing a downward trend. Also, despite having recovered in the last months of 2014, the US market did not record a significant change.

The Thoi Bao Kinh Te Vietnam (Vietnam Economic Times) quoted General Secretary of VASEP Truong Dinh Hoe as saying there were two primary reasons behind the declining turnover in the industry.

First, demand in some tuna importing countries did not increase in 2013, as changes in production capacity and resources in 2012 and 2013 concerned them. As a result, they either did not increase their demand or bought even less last year. The second reason, Hoe said, was that the country imported about 50 percent of raw tuna to process every year, but difficult import procedures limited the same last year.

According to the VASEP General Secretary, Vietnam will continue to see the same situations this year.
Despite difficulties, VASEP still set a target of a 4 to

5 percent increase in the tuna export turnover in 2015, as compared to that in 2014.

This is because it has been projected that the economies of the main export markets of Vietnam, including Japan, the EU and the US, will recover this year. In addition, consumption in these markets is expected to increase in the initial months of the year, which is why VASEP believes that the export turnover could reach 510 million USD.-VNA

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