July 8, 2011
Vietnam's seafood exports expected to surpass forecasts
Vietnam's seafood exports is expected to reach US$6.2 billion this year, exceeding its earlier target of US$5 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Soaring exports are attributed to a rise in the global seafood price, and world demand is expected to increase by 1.4% compared to last year.
Phung Giang Hai, from the Agriculture and Rural Development Policy and Strategy Institute, said Vietnam's seafood exports would continue to increase due to growing demand in North America and the EU.
Tra catfish and shrimp, two of Vietnam's major exports, were expected to hit US$2 billion each this year, Hai said.
In 2010, the Vietnamese aquaculture sector earned US$5 billion in exports. Tra exports alone were worth US$1 billion.
In the first half of this year, Vietnam exported 616,000 tonnes of seafood, an on-year increase of 5.8% in volume. The volume earned US$2.6 billion, a 28% on-year rise.
In the first six months, tra catfish exports reached a record volume of 300,000 tonnes, worth US$800 million. Exports increased 4.7% in volume and 24.7% in value compared with the same period of last year.
Additionally, shrimp exports in the first five months surged 20.7% in volume to 95,000 tonnes and 40% in value to US$900 million against the same period last year.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade expects seafood exports to reach 130,000-140,000 tonnes this month, worth US$490-500 million.
The US is Vietnam's largest seafood export market, followed by Russia and Ukraine. Vietnam also plans to enter the central African market in the near future.
Vietnam aims to diversify its aquaculture by applying new technologies for breeding tra and basa fish, which will also boost food safety and hygiene.
The country has signed a number of co-operation deals with ASEAN nations in the field of aquaculture. It has also signed agreements with Indonesia and Philippines and plans to enter similar deals with Myanmar and Malaysia in the near future.
Vietnam is currently in negotiations with Thailand on information exchange in aquaculture.