Tuna exports continued to slide during the first two months of this year due to low demand from the traditional markets and owing to a reduction in price, the General Department of Customs' statistics indicated.

During the first two months of this year, Vietnam earned 63.2 million USD in the total export value of tuna, 13.5 percent lower than the same period last year, the general department said.

However, the percentage of processed tuna products for exports rose from 38 percent to 50 percent of the total export value of tuna.

Exports of most tuna products were cut by 46 percent, including live, fresh, frozen and dried tuna products. Canned tuna exports fell by 3 percent and tuna loins slipped by 13 percent.

Meanwhile, exports of other processed tuna products surged strongly by 36 percent, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said.

The United States, European Union (EU), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Japan, Israel, Libya, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China) were the top eight importing markets, accounting for 81 percent of total Vietnamese tuna exports.

Among these, ASEAN was the only market that had boosted tuna imports from Vietnam by 20.7 percent to 6.2 million USD for the first two months of this year, compared with the same period last year.

The export value of Vietnamese tuna fell by 13.8 percent to 21.5 million USD in the United States and 21 percent to 17 million USD in the EU from a year ago.

The reduction in Vietnam's tuna exports was due to lower tuna prices, the depreciation of the Euro and lower market demand from traditional markets, the general department said.

Tuna prices dropped from a high of 2,400 USD per tonne in October 2012 to $1,000 at present in Thailand, one of the largest tuna markets in the world.

The depreciation of the Euro at present has strongly impacted production costs and competitiveness of tuna processors and exporters in Asia, such as the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA