Rising Vietnam Tuna Exports to US, EU Amid Pandemic

Increased Demand from EU and US

Vietnam’s canned tuna exports are poised to experience a significant surge as European Union (EU) countries and the United States stock up amidst the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

The outbreak has prompted increased purchases of canned tuna in these regions, leading to a potential rise in demand for Vietnamese exports this year, as projected by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).


Promising Growth Prospects

VASEP forecasts a remarkable increase of approximately 15% in tuna exports this year, building upon the success of last year’s export value of over $719 million. Notably, exports to the US alone reached a value of $316 million, representing a remarkable growth of nearly 38% compared to 2018.

The US market has witnessed a rising demand for tuna, particularly in the canned segment, leading to a consistent increase in imports from various sources, including Vietnam. Vietnam has solidified its position as the second-largest tuna supplier to the US after Thailand, with importers actively seeking alternative supply sources amidst the ongoing US-China trade war.

Cautious Note on EU Market

While Vietnam’s tuna exports to the US have experienced substantial growth, exports to the EU encountered challenges, resulting in an 11% decline to $140 million. This decrease can be attributed to the EU’s issuance of a yellow card, signifying concerns regarding Vietnam’s compliance with certain aspects of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Nevertheless, the EU market remains a significant potential opportunity for Vietnamese canned tuna exports, and efforts are underway to address the yellow card issue and regain market access.


Vietnam’s canned tuna industry stands to benefit from the heightened demand witnessed in EU countries and the US due to stockpiling activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With a positive growth projection for this year, fueled by increased demand from the US market and potential opportunities in the EU, Vietnamese exporters have the potential to capitalize on these favorable market conditions.

Addressing concerns related to the EU’s yellow card status and maintaining quality standards will be essential for sustained growth and continued expansion into key export markets. Through proactive measures, the Vietnamese canned tuna sector can further solidify its position as a reliable and competitive player in the global seafood industry.

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