Vietnamese tuna has been exported to 87 markets, nearly double the number earlier this year, thanks to high demand from international markets at the end of the year, according to Vietnam Association of Seafood Export and Processing (VASEP).

The General Department of Vietnam Customs said tuna exports reached 314 million USD in October, a year-on-year increase of 28.6 percent.

The US is the main consumer of Vietnamese tuna, leading the top three importers, which also include Europe and Japan .

The US makes up 46 percent of the total exports, with exports to the market in the past 10 months totalling nearly 145 million USD.

Vietnamese tuna is shipped to 21 countries in the EU bloc, with Germany , Italy and Belgium being the biggest importers.

In October, Italy surpassed Germany , which previously led the bloc in Vietnamese tuna imports, to become the biggest consumer, with a growth of 2.9 million USD in export value, up 258 percent over that of the corresponding period last year.

Vietnamese tuna has met the EU’s strict requirements, according to VASEP.

Tuna exports to Japan is on an upward trend, according to VASEP, with a growth rate reaching its highest level, of over 82 percent, equal to 36.6 million USD.

The association said the Japanese economic recovery from the tsunami later in the year has led to the increase.

Switzerland is another potential market for Vietnam ’s tuna products. Tuna exports to the country saw a high growth rate, with 3 million USD, a year-on-year increase of over 52 percent.

In contrast, tuna exports to Taiwan have weakened since early this year. The export value last year was 127 percent higher than 2009, but it fell continuously this year, with a 60 percent drop in one month.

The association said the promotion of export activities in localities, including the establishment of a joint-venture between Japan and southern Phu Yen province in trading, processing and exporting tuna, was not enough to raise exports.

VASEP urged the Government to introduce more proper and comprehensive policies to further promote cooperation between fishermen and tuna-processing firms, which would help improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese tuna in the international market./.