Businesses step up the purchase of tuna for export

Hung Hau Agricultural

Businesses in Khanh Hoa province are promoting the purchase of tuna for processing for export to the US and EU markets…

During the middle of April, tuna fishing boats in Khanh Hoa lined up to dock at Hon Ro fishing port and South Central seafood market, Phuoc Dong commune (Nha Trang city).

At the top of the port, businesses have arranged human resources with frozen trucks close to the side of the ship to purchase tuna, then quickly bring the products to the processing factory for export.

Mr. Nguyen Van Ba, Deputy Manager of Hon Ro fishing port and South Central seafood market stated that despite the high oil price in March, there were more than 100 fishing vessels in Khanh Hoa reaching out to catch tuna due to this time still being the fishing season. However, after about 20 days of sticking to the fishing grounds, the ships returned to the port with very low output, averaging less than 1 ton/vessel.

Meanwhile, the demand for raw tuna from processing factories for export is increasing. Therefore, the price of tuna is still purchased by businesses at VND 160,000/kg.

Businesses purchase tuna for processing and export to markets. Photo: MH.

Mr. Huynh Dac Tri, Director of T&H Nha Trang Co., Ltd. said that the exporting situation of tuna to the EU and US markets is still very promising. Consequently, businesses have stepped up the purchase of raw materials to prepare for the summer sales season. However, domestic raw materials from tuna fishing boats are not sufficient to meet the requirement of export businesses. Therefore, businesses have to import raw materials from abroad, despite the scarce supply and high price. As a result, domestic raw material prices have also increased to a peak within the past 10 years.

According to Mr. Tri, currently, businesses purchase bluefin tuna in Khanh Hoa at about VND 160,000/kg, while in recent years, the price of tuna only ranges from VND110-120 thousand/kg. With the current price of raw materials, plus high export transportation costs, production businesses are unable to make much profit.

Adding more about the export market of Vietnamese tuna to the US, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Thanh, Director of Sustainable Seafood Co., Ltd., an enterprise specializing in exporting tuna to the US, said that from July-August last year until now, the export of tuna to this market still increased strongly and well consumed. The Company alone exports 100-150 tons of tuna products to the US market per month.

Tuna is purchased and then put on a refrigerated truck to be transported to the processing plant. Photo: KS.

“Customers will receive as much as a business can produce, and there is no limit to the quantity. Consequently, to meet orders, in addition to promoting the purchase of domestic tuna, businesses also import raw materials from abroad”, Ms. Thanh said and added: For a long time, the domestic source of raw materials has not met the needs of processing factories, due to the output being less than 15%.

Currently, the price of tuna purchased by the Company is at a high level of about VND160,000/kg, however, the output of fishing boats is low. Consequently, enterprises have to import tuna materials from the South Pacific at the price of $3-4/kg, lower than the domestic market. However, the quality is equal and acceptable to the customer.

Regarding the forecast in the coming time, in Ms. Thanh’s opinion, tuna exports to the US will definitely see improvement. Due to it being winter in the US  (PV-January, February and March every year is winter), there will not be high demand in the consumption market. However, in recent months, the export market for tuna is still very promising. As a consequence, after the transition from winter to spring, the demand for tuna in this market will increase even higher than the past few months. Therefore, the business has prepared a plan and strategy to export tuna to the US.

According to Khanh Hoa Department of Fisheries, as of April 12, the province’s fishing industry was estimated at 25,470 tons. In which, the output of bigeye and yellowfin tuna remains at about 990 tons; other types of tuna at 6,900 tons and other seafood at 17,580 tons.

Mr. Nguyen Van Ba, Deputy Manager of Hon Ro fishing port and South Central seafood market said that due to the high cost of fishing trips, accompanied by low output of tuna from fishing vessels, most of the ships just broke even or suffered a loss.

Huynh Dac Tri, Director of T&H Nha Trang Co., Ltd., said that the company is linking with many tuna fishing vessels to meet the raw materials demand, of which there are 20 ships in Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa). Currently, the enterprise is purchasing tuna from associated vessels for VND165,000/kg, VND5,000/kg higher than the market price.

Authors: Kim Son – Minh Hau

Translated by Hoang Duy