Vietnam seafood exports up 4% in first 8 months


Vietnamese seafood exports will likely reach US$4.3 billion, up 4.1%, in the first eight months, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.


The US, Japan, China and the South Korea remained the largest consumers of Vietnamese aquatic products with combined 53.4% market share during the period.


Markets seeing high export growth included China (53.9%), the US (11.9%), Thailand (9.9%) and the Netherlands (8.4%).


Aquatic imports


Meanwhile, aquatic imports in August are estimated at $108 million, bringing the total import value in the eight months through August to $691 million, down 3.9% against the corresponding period last year.


Largest import markets are India (accounting for 26.4%), Norway, Taiwan, Japan and China (9.8%, 9.2%, 6.3% and 6.1%, respectively).


Consumption of raw material pangasius on the domestic market in August was slow despite its low price. However, the price of raw material shrimp in Ca Mau province increased slightly as a result of limited supply.


Exports in first 7 months


Meanwhile, during the first seven months Vietnam's seafood exports rose 4.4% compared with the same period last year, with turnover of $3.6 billion.


The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep) said exports of major seafood items are expected to have good results over the remaining months of the year. It forecast export turnover of $7.1 billion, an 8% increase compared with 2015.


Shrimp exports would earn $3.2 billion, up 11%, and squid $450 million, up 5%, Vasep predicted.


Pangasius exports are expected to decline 4%, compared with 2015, to $1.6 billion.


Vasep General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said Vietnam faces a shortage of shrimp supplies in the remaining months of the year due to the impacts of saltwater intrusion. Other seafoods may also be affected due to problems in offshore fishing.


Vietnamese seafood companies would need to import $1 billion worth of pangasius, shrimp and squid to meet demand for exports, Vasep said.