EGYPT - POTENTIAL MARKET FOR VIETNAM'S CANNED TUNA

Date post :06/11/2020 - 10:44 AM

In 9 months, tuna exports to Egypt reached 11.9 million USD, accounting for 2.29% of the total tuna export turnover of Vietnam and only behind the Israeli market in the Middle East-Africa region. 

The epidemic of acute respiratory infections, COVID-19, has significantly affected Vietnam's seafood exports to markets in the Middle East and Africa.

However, the tuna export sector, especially canned tuna, to Egypt and some markets in the Middle East is showing positive signs.

This is the comment of the First Secretary, Head of Trade Division, Vietnam Embassy in Egypt, Mr. Nguyen Duy Hung.

Mr. Nguyen Duy Hung said that the COVID-19 epidemic had affected the seafood export activities of Vietnamese enterprises to the Middle East-Africa market.

Preliminary statistics of the General Department of Vietnam Customs in the first 9 months of 2020 show that all three major seafood export markets of Vietnam in this region, including Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt all recorded a relatively high decrease compared to the same period last year.

In particular, seafood export turnover to Egypt only reached 23.5 million USD, down 35.6% compared to the first 9 months of 2019. This is a large decrease compared to the general decrease of 8.7 % of the total 9-month export turnover to this market.

Measures to cope with the COVID-19 epidemic of the Egyptian Government in recent times such as issuing a curfew at night, prohibiting crowdsourced activities, closing restaurants ... lead to economic severely affected, the demand for food decreased. Along with that, Egypt has a policy to reduce imports, increase exports to narrow the trade deficit ...

There was a time when the Industry Committee of the Egyptian Parliament called for the government to suspend the import of frozen fish due to concerns about possible transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in this product.

Regarding frozen seafood, Egyptian importers said that the slow consumption in the market recently forced them to cut many new orders while the capital recovery period was prolonged.

In fact, Vietnamese seafood enterprises have reported to the Trade Office that payment is delayed and new contracts offer unfavorable payment conditions.

However, the positive side is that the step-by-step reopening plan was implemented by the Egyptian Government as early as July and the economy is showing good signs of recovery. Therefore, the demand for food tends to increase in the last months of the year.

According to Mr. Nguyen Duy Hung, demand for tuna, especially canned skipjack tuna, has grown well in recent years.

According to the VASEP report, in 9 months, the tuna export turnover to Egypt reached 11.9 million USD, accounting for 2.29% of the total tuna export turnover of Vietnam and only behind the Israeli market in the Middle East-Africa region.

Egypt along with Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE are the largest importers of tuna (processed or preserved) in the region.

According to Egypt Customs, in 2019, Egypt imported tuna worth 162 million USD, mainly from Thailand (145 million USD). Thailand is the world's leading tuna exporter with a turnover of about $ 2 billion / year and this item is familiar to Egyptian consumers.

Despite ranking No. 2, Vietnam only accounts for 5.6% of the market share with about $ 9 million. Thus, Vietnam's potential to export tuna is still very large, especially COVID-19 translation, which makes businesses tend to diversify their suppliers to avoid depending on a single source.

In terms of seafood (unprocessed) in general, in 2019, Egypt and Nigeria are the two largest importers of Africa, of which Egypt spent nearly $ 850 million.

In addition to fish, Egypt has to import shrimp with a turnover of about US $ 164 million, but mainly from the UAE (89%) and Saudi Arabia (7.6%) while the value of Vietnam's shrimp exports to the market is negligible. about 180,000 USD according to data of Vietnam Customs.

It can be seen that there is still great potential to increase the seafood export turnover of Vietnam to Egypt because mainly now there are only frozen basa fillets on the market. Many other seafood products such as frozen shrimp or mackerel, canned salmon, will have a great opportunity for the people of your country.

Besides, Mr. Nguyen Duy Hung said that at present, there is a shift in searching for diverse sources of goods from other countries and this is a "golden" opportunity for Vietnamese seafood to assert and have a better foothold in the market. school.

However, the challenge will come from ourselves if the business does not have the right strategy to seize this opportunity, in which product quality management to meet the requirements is absolutely necessary.

For example, a number of enterprises importing canned tuna said that they required the quality of the product to ensure 100% skipjack tuna, odorless, and free of black meat, blood, and fish skin.

Therefore, Vietnamese businesses need to apply quality management systems, and products should be classified and announced according to clear quality criteria, relevant to the consumer market in your country.

Regarding seafood products in general, it can be seen that Vietnamese enterprises mainly export to the market frozen fish fillets. However, this is not a commodity with large consumption in the market. Therefore, we need to diversify products as well as improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese goods with products of the same type from other countries.

Mr. Nguyen Duy Hung added that although some agricultural and fishery products in Vietnam have a foothold in the Egyptian market at present, such as coffee, pepper, cashew, and basa fish ... but turnover will be difficult to have. The surge was due to import demand and consumption habits.

We need to research competitive advantages to be able to promote the products that your country has a large import demand, in which the raw materials and accessories needed for Egyptian manufacturing industries are a necessary direction. set.

Mr. Hung said that Vietnam can boost exports of essential household goods (such as shoes, garments, plastic products ...), materials and wood products (film-coated plywood, paper), rubber (tubes, tires, rollers, conveyors, rubber gloves), and spare parts, machinery, and equipment for industrial production (automobile, textile, food processing, chemical, construction).

In terms of agriculture, we still have strong products that cannot penetrate the market such as dragon fruit, while in aquaculture, we can increase shrimp and other canned foods and fish.

Source: Thong tan xa VN

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