Vietnam’s seafood sales to EU surge 20 percent in first half of 2021

Fishing boats in Vietnam docked together.

Vietnam saw its sales of seafood to the E.U. rise in the first six months of this year, however, the new COVID-19 outbreak in the Southeast Asian country, along with impacts from its “yellow card,” are likely to slow down sales this month.

Vietnam exported seafood worth USD 486 million (EUR 412.8 million) to the E.U. from January to June, an increase of 20 percent year-on-year, according to Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) on 21 July.

Of that total, sales of farmed seafood to the bloc rose 18 percent year-on-year to USD 332 million (EUR 282 million), while the export value of wild-caught products stood at USD 154 million (EUR 130.8 million), up 24 percent from a year earlier.

The sales of shrimp were worth USD 256 million (EUR 217.4 million), 27 percent higher year-on-year, including USD 205 million (EUR 174 million) of vannamei, up 31 percent; and USD 36.5 million (EUR 31 million) of black tiger shrimp, growing 15 percent. The remainder was contributed by sales of sea shrimp and lobster.

The export value of other products also saw a positive increase in the first half of the year, including tuna with USD 74 million (EUR 62.8 million), up 31 percent; clams with USD 33 million (EUR 28 million), up 45 percent; squid with USD 21 million (EUR 17.8 million), soaring 56 percent; and octopus with USD 5.5 million (EUR 4.7 million), 33 percent higher year-on-year.

However, sales of pangasius declined 18 percent to USD 58 million (EUR 49.3 million) in the first six months of 2021.

The E.U. was the fourth-largest destination for seafood products from Vietnam after the U.S., Japan, and China. It was the third-largest buyer of shrimp from Vietnam after the U.S. and Japan, and was the second-largest destination for tuna products from Vietnam.

Vietnam is facing its worst outbreak of the coronavirus, causing negative impacts to the seafood sector.

The European Commission in 2017 imposed a “yellow card” on Vietnam, arguing that the Southeast Asian nation had not done enough to tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

According to VASEP, the hurdles caused by this warning and the COVID-19 outbreak would affect Vietnam’s fisheries exports to the bloc in the second half of this year.

VASEP estimates that sales to the E.U. would touch USD 600 million (EUR 509.5 million) between July and December, up 8 percent year-on-year.

Photo courtesy of Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock


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