|While Việt Nam's seafood exports saw a drop due to COVID - 19, exporters are not too worried about the situation. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh|
HCM CITY — Seafood exporters in Việt Nam are not too worried though import demand for their products has taken a hit due to the coronavirus epidemic.
According to Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), seafood exports to China by land account for around 20 per cent of total value, and so the border closure has heavily impacted exports in the first quarter.
VASEP forecast that in the best case, seafood exports to China in the first quarter would be 40 per cent lower than in the last quarter of last year though still 10 per cent higher year-on-year.
If the disease persists for a long time, full-year export to China could see a 6 per cent drop, it warned.
But Trương Đình Hòe, general secretary of VASEP, said the disease's effect on exports in the first few months of the year had not been too drastic, and China's seafood imports usually pick up after March or April.
Doãn Chí Thiên, a management board member at Nam Việt Corporation, said the Lunar New Year holiday was extended until February 9 in most of China’s provinces, and so businesses were unable to export shark catfish to them.
While shark catfish exports to China are expected to take a big hit, it is only temporary, while other markets are importing the product normally, with ones like South America and Europe in fact increasing shipments, according to Thiên.
His company has been focusing on diversifying its markets and reducing dependence on only one market, he added.
Phạm Thanh Tùng of seafood supplier Vĩnh Hoàn Corporation said his company hoped demand would pick up in the second quarter, adding that it had already been working on expanding its markets. VNS