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Vietnam strives to expand markets for seafood exports

by NDO12 April 2022 Last updated at 12:54 PM

Processing tuna for export at BIDIFISCO.
Processing tuna for export at BIDIFISCO.

VTV.vn - Vietnam’s seafood exports made a strong recovery in the first quarter of 2022, with total revenue reaching 2.4 billion USD, up 38.7% year on year.

Such an impressive result was thanks to strong growth in the export of shrimp and shark catfish.

Catfish exports during the January-March period soared by 88% to 646 million USD, while shrimp exports saw decent growth in major markets such as the US, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, and the UK.

The US remained the largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 21% of the total exports, while Vietnam continued to be the fourth largest provider of shrimp for the US. Vietnam’s total shrimp export revenue for 2022 is expected to reach 4 billion USD, up 3%.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has also somewhat affected Vietnam’s seafood exports, although these two markets accounted for a very small portion of Vietnam’s total exports since the conflict drove fuel prices and other input costs, hurting businesses’ profits.

The Russian market, for example, accounted for 3% of Vietnam’s annual seafood exports. When the conflict broke out, all exports to Russia were cancelled due to risks related to banking, a shortage of container ships and high costs. Exporters to this market are monitoring the situation to deal with stockpiles and are trying to export to other markets.

Besides Russia, exports to China are also facing hurdles due to its zero-COVID policy. Furthermore, rising fuel prices have led to higher shipping costs, which will be a long-term problem for Vietnamese exporters.

According to Tran Dinh Luan, Director of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries, exports rebounded in the first quarter but growth is not really sustainable as input costs continue to rise. In order to fulfil the set targets, Luan suggested focusing on several tasks, including stepping up efforts to address the European Commission’s yellow card warning.

To deal with the difficulties emerging from the conflict in Ukraine, the directorate will monitor the situation closely and work with trade associations and the State Bank of Vietnam to support enterprises exporting to Russia that are facing stalled financial transactions. It will also cooperate with VASEP, which represents seafood producers and exporters, to discuss measures to deal with the difficulties in the Russian and Ukrainian markets.

In 2022, the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department will also concentrate on addressing obstacles in exporting to China and the US so as to diversify export markets for Vietnamese seafood.

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