Vietnam seafood exports drop 6 percent


Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok

Published on
March 1, 2009

The global economic crisis, which is curbing demand for seafood, is to blame for a nearly 6 percent drop in Vietnam's seafood exports in the first two months of this year.

Speaking in Hanoi late last week, Luong Le Phuong, Vietnam's deputy minister of agriculture and rural development, said his ministry is encouraging seafood exporters to attend foreign and domestic trade shows to increase exposure of Vietnam's seafood products to potential buyers. The country's seafood companies are also being urged to target smaller Asian markets to compensate for the fall in seafood exports.

Vietnam's seafood exports in the first two months of this year totaled USD 461 million (EUR 363 million), down 5.8 percent from the same two-month period last year.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) says the county's seafood exports may not reach the target of USD 4 billion (EUR 3.16 billion) this year. Last year's seafood exports were valued at USD 4.27 billion (EUR 3.3 billion).

If this trend continues, Vietnam may be facing a 15 to 20 percent drop in seafood exports this year. The economic downturn, weakening demand for seafood and unfavorable exchange rates are all contributing to the falloff, said a VASEP spokesman.

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