Vietnamese seafood exports to top 7 billion US dollars in 2016

Published on
August 22, 2016

The value of Vietnamese seafood exports is expected to reach USD 7.1 billion (EUR 6.4 billion) this year, a rise of 8 percent over 2015, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Shrimp sales are expected to reach USD 3 billion (EUR 2.7 billion), a rise of 10 percent, and pangasius USD 1.6 billion (EUR 1.4 billion), a drop of 4 percent compared with 2015.

Total exports of tuna are expected to increase to USD 500 million (EUR 451 million) by the year-end, up 10 percent, and cuttlefish and octopus exports are expected to be up 5 percent compared with last year.

However, as reported in Vietnam News online, there are problems to be faced. Ngo Vanb Ich, chairman of VASEP, warned of a heavy reliance on seafood, mostly shrimp from foreign markets – some 50 percent of all shrimp exported from Vietnam have been previously imported – as well as an imbalance between fish farming and processing. Farmers are not producing sufficient pangasius to meet processors’ requirements. In fact prices are so low that many are not able to survive.

The ongoing drought and salt water intrusion are still affecting seafood production in Vietnam. Tons of fish have died, not only in the central region, but also in the Mekong Delta.

Ích said a number of Vietnamese exporters, especially of shrimp and pangasius, would continue to be hurt by anti-dumping tariffs imposed by the USA and other import markets.

In addition, the EU is expected to face currency depreciation and negative information about the Eurozone which will affect Vietnamese seafood exports.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and VASEP have warned exporters to be prepared for strict hygiene and other standards in key markets such as the USA, Japan and the EU.

According to VASEP, Vietnamese seafood exports reached USD 3.15 billion (EUR 2.84 billion) in the first half of this year, a rise of 4 percent compared with the same period in 2015.

Shrimp exports reached USD 1.35 billion (EUR 1.22 billion), a rise of 4.8 percent, and pangasius USD 790 million (EUR 713 million), an increase of 5.4 percent over the same period.

Meanwhile, exports of cuttlefish and octopus totaled USD 179 million (EUR 161 million) in the first half of the year, a drop of nearly 10 percent. Also, exports of tuna reached USD 225 million (EUR 203 million), equal to the corresponding period last year.

Other seafood exports reached more than USD 511 million (EUR 461 million), up 7.6 percent.

In recent years, Vietnamese exporters have shifted from stricter markets to China, which now accounts for 9 percent of total seafood exports. Major exports to China are tuna, pangasius and shrimp.

Vietnamese seafood exports to China rose significantly in the first half of this year, earning USD 384 million (EUR 346 million), a surge of nearly 43 percent over the same period last year.

Vietnam exports seafood products to 144 countries and territories. The top five export markets are the USA, the EU, Japan, China and South Korea, which together account for 70 percent of the country’s total.

The USA, which accounts for 21 percent of total exports, is the top export market. Its imports earned USD 646 million (EUR 583 million) in the first half of the year, a rise of 10.7 percent over the same period last year.

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