Vietnam seafood industry sees potential for exports recovery


- Vietnam News

HANOI: Vietnam’s seafood industry expects to see more export recovery as it explores opportunities in key markets like the United States.

Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers deputy general-secretary Nguyen Hoai Nam said that the industry is gradually returning a positive performance as the decline in export turnover in September and October slowed compared to the previous months.

According to the General Statistics Office, in September and October 2023, Vietnam’s seafood exports reached US$814mil and US$850mil, respectively, down 4.9% and 5.9%, compared to the same period last year.

Total seafood export turnover decreased year-on-year by 20.5% to US$7.45bil in the first 10 months of the year, and 22.6% to US$6.6bil in the first nine months.

The value in the first six-to-seven months of 2023 decreased by 30% to 40%.

Nam said that Vietnam’s main seafood export products, including shrimp, pangasius and tuna, all recorded declines in business in 2023.

The export of primary seafood products to major markets like the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnerships, the United States, the European Union and China dropped sharply because of a decline in demand.

In the first two quarters of 2023, seafood export turnover to these markets decreased strongly by 30% to 45% – the US market decreased by up to 51%.

In the United States, a market accounting for a quarter of the world’s seafood demand, the inventory of importers and distributors has been declining gradually in the second half of this year.

Along with that, the consumer confidence index of Americans continues to improve.

With this, the year-end holidays, Christmas and New Year are expected to stimulate the market’s import demand and improve performance across the industry.

“Export orders for Vietnam as well as other markets improved in the third quarter,” said Vietnam’s Commercial Counsellor in the United States, Do Ngoc Hung.

On the other hand, in 2022, seafood only accounted for about 6% of the US food structure but now the consumption of this item is increasing because Americans are shifting to products that are beneficial to health.

Besides that, according to Hung, on Aug 31, the US Department of Commerce issued the preliminary results of the 19th anti-dumping duty administrative review on Vietnam’s frozen tra fish fillets exported to the United States for the period of Aug 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022.

As a result, the tariffs imposed on Vietnamese pangasius are at US$0 to US$0.14 per kilo.

Vietnam’s tra fish production and the related food safety and hygiene control system have also received positive assessments from the US Food Safety and Inspection Service.

These factors have created positive momentum for pangasius exports to the United States. Currently, Vietnam’s frozen pangasius fillets account for about 20% of total white meat fish imports into the United States.

Experts predict that the domestic fishery industry will probably see a recovery in the fourth quarter of 2023 and going into 2024, with many advantages in exporting seafood products to the US market.

However, Vietnam still faces many challenges as the United States still has anti-dumping taxes on Vietnamese frozen shrimp – since 2005.

Vietnam still has many difficulties in building, protecting and exploiting brands of Vietnamese seafood products.

Excluding some large companies, other seafood firms are only distributing through intermediaries and retail channels of Asian importers.

These smaller companies have not yet directly entered the US distribution system. — Viet Nam News/ANN

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