Vietnam seeks new markets


Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok

Published on
March 25, 2009

Despite grim first-quarter export figures recently released by the Vietnamese government, the mood is still buoyant in Hanoi.
In terms of value, the country's seafood exports dropped 10.4 percent, to USD 714 million (EUR 529 million), in the first three months of 2009. But in March, seafood exports totaled USD 270 million (EUR 199 million), up USD 20 million (EUR 14 million) from February.
The General Statistics Office (GSO) attributed the fall to reduced seafood demand in the traditional markets such as the United States, European Union and Japan. To counter this, Vietnam is shifting seafood exports to China and is now the fourth largest supplier of shrimp products to the Chinese market.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers reports that shrimp exports to China have increased 110 percent in volume and 90 percent in value so far this year.
However, the association's deputy chairman and Minh Phu Seafood Joint Stock Co. General Director Le Van Quang suggested that apart from China, Vietnam's shrimp exports to other primary markets will likely fall this year.
The boost in regional trading is an emerging trend across Asia. Seafood is one of many Asian industries that have turned their attention to local, domestic and regional markets.

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