Vietnam gained 13.3 million USD from exporting tuna to Italy in the first half of 2019, a year-on-year surge of 60 percent. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam gained 13.3 million USD from exporting tuna to Italy in the first half of 2019, a year-on-year surge of 60 percent, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Particularly, the export value in June enjoyed strong growth, up 728.9 percent from the same time last year.

As exports revenue expanded unceasingly during March-June, Italy became the first largest importer of Vietnamese tuna in the European Union in the first half. Last year, the country was the 4th biggest buyer of the Vietnamese tuna products.

Earlier, the VASEP expected tuna exports to top 1 billion USD this year, up 350 million USD from 2018.

Vietnam exported tuna products to 105 markets last year, with the US, the EU, Israel, ASEAN, Japan, Canada, China, and Mexico being the major ones. The US topped the list with nearly 230 million USD worth of purchases.

Frozen tuna fillet was a key export item to the US last year as shipments of processed tuna increased significantly while those of canned tuna products fell, VASEP said.

Vietnam was the fourth largest supplier of canned and processed tuna products to the US behind Thailand, Ecuador and China, and the second largest supplier of frozen fillet after Indonesia.-VNA