Type to search




Ukraine conflict affecting world tuna market. Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine is having a comprehensive and profound impact on the world tuna market, affecting production and export activities of countries, including Vietnam.

According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, by the end of 2021, Russia and Ukraine are two of the 20 largest importers of Vietnamese tuna by value. Both these countries are importing a lot of frozen tuna from Vietnam.

As for the Russian market, the 13th largest tuna import market of Vietnam, the value of Vietnam’s tuna exports to this market in the past 10 years has increased from 364 thousand USD in 2012 to more than 14 million USD in 2021, increased more than 39 times. Although in the past 5 years, the export value of tuna to this market has not been stable, but it is on an uptrend and recovering well after the pandemic.

Tuna exports to Russia in 2021 account for 2% of the total tuna export value of foreign fish, an increase of 58% compared to 2020, and even higher than in 2019, the time before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. And in January 2022 alone, tuna exports to this market increased by 427% over the same period.

For Ukraine market, the 19th largest tuna import market of Vietnam, the export value of tuna has increased 58 times in 10 years, from 115 thousand USD in 2012 to 6.8 million USD in 2021. In the past 5 years, the value of tuna exports to Ukraine has increased continuously. In 2021 alone, exports increased by 106% compared to 2020, and tripled compared to 2019, accounting for 1% of Vietnam’s total tuna export value.

According to businesses, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out, some orders had to be returned, and tuna export transactions to both countries had to be halted due to risks in banking transactions. Supply chains for production and import and export are broken. Businesses are having to monitor the situation to handle inventory or find ways to export to other markets.

Besides, Russia and Ukraine are the most important suppliers of sunflower oil to the global market, including Vietnam, so if the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate, this will affect directly to the tuna industry. Prices for most vegetable oils are now up to all-time highs in January 2022, while canned tuna processors are facing unprecedentedly high sunflower oil prices. The high price of sunflower oil will push up the production cost of canned/bag tuna.

The oil market has been under pressure from the global pandemic and the Omicron variant. Prices have also begun to rise since the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Rising fuel costs are expected to push up raw tuna prices due to rising fishing costs. Besides, sea freight rates already at exorbitant levels are expected to continue to rise higher. And now major shipping lines have announced not to transport to and from Russia, increasing shipping costs…

Faced with this situation, although the two markets do not account for a large proportion of Vietnam’s total tuna exports, but before the above impacts, it is expected that Vietnam’s tuna exports in the coming months will “decelerate.”

Source: Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers