Vietnamese seafood exports rise 6.1% in Jan.-April to US$2B



Vietnam's seafood exports in April reached nearly US$561 million, up 5.4% over the same period last year. During the four months through April, the value of seafood exports was estimated at $2 billion, up 6.1% year-on-year.


Shrimp exports


In April shrimp exports hit US$240 million, up 7.6% from April 2015. Black tiger shrimp accounted for 33.5% of the total shrimp exports, worth $80 million from 32.5% (US$78 million) in March. Whiteleg shrimp took up 57.8% ($139 million), down from 58.8% ($142 million) the previous month.


Black tiger shrimp exports have the opportunity to rise because of the increase in output. China accounted for 12% of Vietnam's total shrimp exports, in which sales of black tiger shrimp made up 31%.


The US was the second-largest importer of black tiger shrimp from Vietnam, accounting for 18% of the total. 


The total shrimp exports in January-April were valued at $859 million, up 7.8% from the same period last year. Of these, exports of black tiger shrimp hit $294 million, up 12%; and sales of whiteleg shrimp touched $493 million, up 7.2%.


According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), black tiger shrimp farming areas in the Mekong Delta provinces during the first four months were estimated at 520,342 hectares, up 1.59% over January-April 2015. Production was at 53,776 tonnes, up 4.3%, while whiteleg shrimp farming area hit 19,800 ha, down 7.69%, with production at 30,604 tonnes, down 4.67%.


Pangasius exports


In April Vietnamese pangasius exports showed a positive growth of 13%, with the value of $142 million. Shipments to major markets such as the US, China, Brazil and Mexico increased remarkably (up 17%, 94%, 57% and 86%, respectively), while sales to the EU and Asean fell by 9% and 12%, respectively.


Pangasius exports in the first four months totalled $507.5 million, up 5.2% year-on-year. In particular, exports to Brazil registered the highest climb at 274%, followed by China and the US, up 61% and 7%, respectively. It will be noted that pangasius imports into Brazil from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015 were stagnant due to the temporary ban imposed by Brazil's Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA) on Vietnamese pangasius. The MPA granted import license of seafood products from Vietnam only in April 2015. As a result, Vietnamese pangasius exports to the market posted a sharp increase in the first three months of 2016.


Pangasius exports to the US also went up, thanks to the increase in the average export price affected by the catfish inspection program of the US Department of Agriculture.


As reported by the MARD, pangasius production in the Mekong Delta provinces in January-April 2016 was estimated at 281,500 tonnes, down 3% over the same period last year. Production in Vinh Long was 25,785 tonnes (-14%), Dong Thap 90,000 tonnes (-5%) and An Giang 65,485 tonnes (-16 %).


In the second quarter, Vietnamese seafood exports are expected to hit $1.8 billion, up 8% year-on-year, thanks mainly to the 10% rise in shrimp exports to $788 million. Exports of pangasius are also expected to hit $401 million, up 2% year-on-year.


Source: Vasep
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