Value of Vietnam’s seafood exports to the US declines

Published on
June 20, 2017

Vietnam’s seafood exports to the United States suffered a fall in value during the first five months of this year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), as reported by Vietnam News. 

Worsening the news for Vietnam, the association said it will be difficult to affect a recovery in the next few months.

Although Vietnam enjoyed year-on-year growth of 7.5 percent in its total seafood export value in the period January to May 2017, reaching USD 2.76 billion (EUR 2.47 billion), the value of seafood exported to the U.S.A. fell by 12.7 percent year-on-year to USD 461million (EUR 413 million), VASEP said.

The decrease led to the U.S. being overtaken by Japan as the largest export market for Vietnamese seafood in the first five months of this year. The fall was partly due to the anti-dumping duties imposed on Vietnamese pangasius and shrimp by U.S. authorities earlier this year.

Exports of Vietnamese seafood products to the U.S. will continue to face problems in the months ahead because of a new inspection program for imported catfish, which will become effective in September. (Pangasius is a catfish species.) In addition, the global currency market has become more volatile in the young tenure of U.S. President Donald Trump, and Trump has hinted his administration may push for increased tariffs and other trade barriers, VASEP said.

During the first five months of this year, the European Union was the third-largest export market for Vietnamese seafood products, but still suffered a reduction of 0.7 percent in export value.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese seafood products reached a year-on-year growth of 29.3 percent in Japan, 20.1 percent in China, and 26.1 percent in South Korea. 

VASEP said pangasius and shrimp exports had grown slowly due to limited supply, resulting in a sharp increase in raw material prices. In response, Vietnamese seafood exporters had changed the structure of their businesses to promote exports of tuna, squid, octopus, and other seafood, the organization said.

Vietnam’s tuna exports gained a year-on-year increase of 20 percent to earn USD 216 million (EUR 193 million) in the first five months of this year due to the growth of exports to traditional markets such as the U.S. and the E.U.

Squid and octopus exports rose by 39 percent to USD 199 million (EUR 178 million) compared with the same period last year.

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