The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a difficult economic context for many industries around the world, including the tuna industry in Việt Nam. To overcome this challenging time, the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has suggested that tuna processors and exporters explore the domestic market.
Challenges for Tuna Exporters
In case Việt Nam could control the pandemic, but it still exists in Europe and the US, the tuna export market would be difficult and unstable. Tuna is an expensive dish served in restaurants for people with high incomes, but due to COVID-19, many people have lost their income, causing consumption to decrease even when the pandemic is under control.
Nguyễn Thị Thu Thanh, director of Sustainable Seafood Limited Company in Khánh Hòa province, stated that the company purchased about VNĐ25-30 billion (US$1.06 million-1.29 million) of raw materials in the past month but only exported about VNĐ2-3 billion monthly.
Despite having inventories, businesses still have to pay money to fishermen and interest rates for banks. Additionally, businesses must endure soaring electricity costs due to cold storage, which puts a significant burden on their costs.
The Potential of the Domestic Market
Nguyễn Thị Thu Sắc, chairwoman of VASEP’s seafood committee, stated that Việt Nam is not only a major seafood exporter but also a potential consumption market for many other countries. The country has a system of restaurants and hotels for international and domestic tourists, a population in the age of high consumption, and increasing income, especially in urban areas, accompanied by the tendency to choose meals outside.
All of these factors create a diversified seafood consumption market, which tuna processors and exporters can exploit.
Encouraging Domestic Consumption
If tuna processors and exporters do not take advantage of the domestic market, consumers may choose seafood imported from other countries. To ensure tuna is consumed, localities with ocean tuna fishing fleets have strengthened the consumption solution, helping the fishing and processing industry overcome the difficulties.
For instance, Phú Yên province has encouraged businesses to focus on promoting tuna products and boosting domestic consumption through service and tourism activities. The provincial People’s Committee discourages fishermen from increasing the number of fishing vessels but concentrate on preservation stages to improve the quality of tuna and boost domestic consumption.
Furthermore, restaurants, hotels, and large tourist areas of the province have regularly invited culinary experts to perform the demonstration of slaughtering and processing of tuna to serve customers in the past year. These activities have contributed to bringing the provincial tuna specialty to many domestic consumers, improving the value and brand of tuna.
Proactive Scenarios for Agricultural and Aquatic Exports
To meet the increasing demand of world consumers when the pandemic is over, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has proposed management agencies and associations proactively develop scenarios of agricultural and aquatic exports.
In conclusion, the keyword of this content is tuna, and it discusses the challenges for tuna exporters during the pandemic and the potential of the domestic market. The article also provides solutions to encourage domestic consumption and proactive scenarios for agricultural and aquatic exports.