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Aquatic product exports expected to reach $7b

Update: August, 03/2016 - 09:00
Workers of Vĩnh Hoàn Corp feed catfish at Mỹ Xương Farm in the Mekong Delta province of Đồng Tháp. The fish will be exported to the US. Photo courtesy of Vĩnh Hoàn Corp.
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Despite challenges ahead, aquatic exports are expected to reach US$7.1 billion this year, a rise of 8 per cent over last year, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Though exports have risen, aquatic exports may face several problems in the last half of the year, and exporters have been warned to meet strict standards on hygiene and other matters, including in key markets like the US, Japan and the EU.

Ngô Văn Ích, chairman of VASEP, attributed the problems to heavy reliance on imported materials from foreign markets as well as an imbalance between aquatic rearing and processing.

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

The ongoing drought and saline intrusion are still affecting aquatic production. Tonnes of fish have died not only in the central region but also in the Mekong Delta, according to VASEP.

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

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and VASEP told affected enterprises to prepare measures to access stricter import markets like the US, the EU and Japan.

Of the total $7.1 billion expected in seafood exports this year, shrimp exports are expected to reach $3 billion, a rise of 10 per cent, and catfish, $1.6 billion, a drop of 4 per cent over last year.

Total exports of tuna are also expected to increase, to $500 million, by year-end, up 10 per cent, and cuttlefish and octopus, up 5 per cent over last year.  

First six months

Exports of aquatic products to China rose significantly in the first half of the year, reaching $384 million, a surge of nearly 43 per cent over the same period.

In recent years, Vietnamese exporters have shifted from stricter markets to China, which accounts for 9 per cent of total aquatic exports. Major exports to China are tuna, catfish and shrimp.

According to VASEP, aquatic exports reached US$3.15 billion in the first half of the year, a rise of 4 per cent over the same period last year.

Of this figure, shrimp exports reached $1.35 billion, a rise of 4.8 per cent, and catfish, $790 million, an increase of 5.4 per cent over the same period.

Meanwhile, exports of cuttlefish and octopus totalled $179 million in the first half of the year, a drop of nearly 10 per cent. Also, exports of tuna reached $225 million, equal to the corresponding period last year.  

Other aquatic exports reached more than $511 million, up 7.6 per cent.

Việt Nam exports aquatic products to 144 countries and territories. The top five export markets are the US, the EU, Japan, China and South Korea, accounting for 70 per cent of the country’s total export value of aquatic products.

The US tops the export market, which accounts for 21 per cent of total exports, with export value of $646 million in the first half, a rise of 10.7 per cent over the same period. — VNS

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