Vietnam’s Seafood Exports Expected to Drop in 2009
Vietnam’s seafood exports are expected to decrease by 15 to 20 percent this year, say industry and government officials, with demand from Europe, the United States and Japan projected to take the biggest tumble.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), earnings from black tiger shrimp should fall sharply as consumers turn to less expensive options during the global economic downturn.
Many black tiger farmers in Vietnam’s Bac Lieu Province are having to sell farmland and homes to repay debts caused by consecutive poor harvests, according to a report on Thanh Nien News.
The export of pangasius (basa, tra) will also be affected, says VASEP Vice Chairman Nguyen Huu Dung, who suggests seafood businesses pay more attention to improving product quality instead of quantity.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry today reported that the agricultural, forestry and seafood sector is expected to earn more than $12 billion from exports, down 4.8 percent from last year.
Vietnam currently ranks 12th in the world in wild-caught output, third in farmed output and seventh in export value. The country’s seafood export value increased from $1 billion in 2000 to $4.5 billion in 2008.