Brighter prospects for seafood exports

September 08, 2023 | 10:45
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Gradual market rebound and China’s ban on seafood exports from Japan has been instrumental for Vietnam's seafood export gaining growth momentum at year-end.

Figures from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) show that after a gloomy first half, signs of rebound are apparent in the Chinese market, with Vietnam’s seafood exports value to this market eyeing a 45 per cent jump on-year in July alone, reaching nearly $180 million. Inflation in the United States has also abated, leading to improved demands.

Brighter prospects for seafood exports

VASEP expects to witness 40-45 per cent hike on-year in seafood export value to the US at year-end.

Le Hang, communication director at VASEP, noted that there are three factors decisive to rosier export prospects in H2.

Accordingly, growth prospects in Vietnam’s major export markets are anticipated to be more positive in the rest of 2023 when import demands from the US and China are rebounding in the face of dwindling inventory and augmenting order intake for year-end festive occasions.

In the domestic market, seafood producers and exporters have received timely support in capital sources, simultaneously exporting items in favour of stable supply and falling input costs, resulting in more competitive pricing compared to products from other countries.

China’s recent ban on seafood imports from Japan is expected to benefit Vietnamese exporters, yet industry experts say that as the export structure of Vietnam and Japan is different, the changes might not be so significant.

Tran Anh Khoa, CEO of Anh Khoa Co., Ltd. based in Ca Mau city said, “Our company has met many new customers in recent months, particularly those from China. Compared to last year, we have more export orders, paving the way for more upbeat business results in H2.”

To best avail of this opportunity, seafood firms have well-prepared supply sources and manpower to serve the spike in demands at year-end.

Chiem Cuong, sale director at seafood firm Phat Tien Co., Ltd., said that in the past year when seafood exports were gloomy, the company did its utmost to retain stable production to retain workers and maintain relations with business partners, along with replenishing inventory for future opportunities.

“Thanks to that, when demands show signs of rebound currently our company has available stock for the market,” said Cuong.

He added that as the EU market had narrowed in the past year, the company has been proactive for market expansion in other regions such as the Middle East and South America.

Le Van Nghia, deputy director of Ca Mau Foods and Fishery Co., Ltd. said that in the past year the company had opted for a more radical investment direction to improve product quality.

“It proves increasingly challenging to meet stringent requirements from major export markets like the EU. Our company has focused on retraining manpower in diverse sections to be able to boost product quality inclusively, from food hygiene to packaging and preservation,” Nghia said. “Besides this, our company has been intensively preparing materials to avoid falling short of market demands.”

According to VASEP, Vietnam’s seafood export could reach $9 billion in 2023, in which shrimp would generate $3.5-$3.6 billion, basa fish from $1.7-$1.8 billion, tuna $870 million, and cuttlefish and octopus $650 million.

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