November 18, 2013


Vietnam's seafood exports increase 17.4% in Q3 2013



Vietnam's seafood exports rose by 17.4% to US$1.9 billion during third quarter of 2013, with significant increase in shrimp exports, which are dominated by white-leg shrimps, due to global shortage in supply of shrimps, although exports of other seafood items declined.


In the first nine months of 2013, Vietnam sold its seafood products to 156 markets, earning back US$4.8 billion, a rise of 6.4% on-year.


According to a report on Vietnam's seafood exports in the third quarter of 2013, Vietnam seafood exports in the fourth quarter are expected to increases by 6.5% over the same period of 2012 to US$1.7 billion, mainly due to shrimp exports. Pangasius exports may see little recover, while exports of tuna and other marine products will be lower. Total seafood exports of 2013 are forecasted to reach US$6.5 billion, up 5% compared with 2012.


Shrimp exports accounted for the largest proportion of 43% out of Vietnam's total seafood sales. The figure was 7% higher than that of the same time of 2012 and much higher than the proportion of pangasius exports. Shrimp exports this year posted a reduction in February due to the Lunar New Year in Vietnam. Exports in the remaining months marked two-digit growth of 20-66%. Remarkably, shrimp sales in third quarter of 2013 witnessed a surprising advance; exports in July went up 45%, and in August and September, saw 65.5 and 61% increases, respectively.


Due to supply shortfall caused by diseases, raw shrimp exports from main suppliers like Thailand declined by half while shrimp price in main importing markets was US$2-4/kg higher than that of 2012. Particularly, the growth in shrimp exports was largely due to sharp increase in whiteleg shrimp exports. In August 2013, whiteleg shrimp overcome black tiger shrimp with monthly earnings of US$180 - 190 million, three times higher than that of the same period last year and made up 54-56% of total shrimp sales. Until September 2013, whiteleg shrimp exports hit nearly US$980 million, rising 85% on-year and occupying 47.4% in the total shrimp export value while black tiger shrimp sales were US$943 million, increasing 4.8% and making up 45.7%.


Shrimp shipment in the third quarter of 2013 gained US$961 million, up 57.3% on-year. The figure in the past nine months of this year netted over US$2 billion, up 27%. Shrimp exports to the US scored the highest gain among importers of Vietnam shrimp. Exports to the market surged 63% through the year 2013 to September. In the third quarter of 2013, shrimp exports to the US saw a three-digit growth: 102% in July, 145% in August and 139% in September. Shrimp exports to the US in the first three quarters of this year made up 26.3% out of Vietnam's total shrimp exports to markets while the proportion reported in the same time last year was 20.5%.


In August 2013, the US surpassed Japan as the top largest importer of Vietnam shrimp with monthly import value of over US$100 million. This trend is expected to continue in coming months with the arrival of Christmas and New Year.


Pangasius exports has showed a slight rally in March and April. Exports of the product in remaining months of the year kept stable or fell slightly. Pangasius exports this year may be lower than that of last year on account of stagnant demand from main markets (especially the EU), instability in fish price and raw fish supply for processing.


In the third quarter of 2013, pangasius exports registered US$424 million, down 3.2% on-year and the figure in the past nine months hit nearly US$1.3 billion, down 1.4% on-year. The proportion of pangasius out of the country's total seafood sales slashed to 26.5% from 28.6%. Pangasius exports to the US were on the increase while fish exports to EU were on the wane due to sluggish demand caused by regional economic downturn. Since April 2013, the US has overtaken EU as an importer of Vietnam pangasius. In January-September 2013, fish exports to the US obtained nearly US$300 million, up 2.2% while exports of the item to EU gained US$285 million, down 11.25%.


Shipment of tuna and marine finfish this year slowed down and dropped slightly compared to the same period of 2012. The decline was due to high tuna inventory in EU and Japan which boosted importing of these products in 2012. Tuna exports in third quarter 2013 netted US$121 million, down 18.3% on-year; tuna exports towards September 2013 totalled US$415 million, a drop of 4.5%.

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