Only a modest number of seafood producers have the capacity to resume production immediately after social distancing while the rest will need quite a long time to pick up pace.
|Seafood producers are coping with difficulties to maintain operation |
According to a survey conducted by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), by the end of August, only about 30-40 per cent of seafood enterprises in the southern provinces and cities could maintain operation while about 30-40 per cent had to stop production and the rest are preparing to resume operations.
With operational factories, only 30-50 per cent of employees could work on site, the rest had to leave work or take unpaid leave. As a result, processing capacity has reduced by 50-60 per cent. It is estimated that the overall capacity of the whole region has decreased by 60-70 per cent.
Tien Giang, Can Tho, Hau Giang, and Dong Thap are the provinces with the largest number of seafood producers that have stopped operating either completely or temporarily.
The operational seafood enterprises try to maintain a key labour force to continue production while temporarily laying off other workers or pay themminimum wages. Other businesses stopped working but still try to maintain wages for workers to retain them for the bounce back.
Recovery in production is greatly affected by a broken supply chain of raw materials, difficulties in transportation, and customer loss. Especially, it is difficult to keep the labour force unchanged as many workers have not been vaccinated or have returned to their hometown, are in quarantine, or are undergoing COVID-19 treatment.
Although workers in industrial zones and export processing zones are prioritised for vaccination, only 30-40 per cent have received their first jab by the end of August and no workers have received the second injection.
Different localities implement vaccination at different paces. While businesses in Ca Mau province are vaccinated the fastest (90-95 per cent of workers have already received the first injection) other localities like Long An, Can Tho, and Hau Giang are far slower.
As of July, the number of orders placed at seafood enterprises increased 10-20 per cent compared to 2020 due to global market recovery. However, from August 23, all southern provinces and cities implemented strict social distancing, affecting production and delivery.
At the end of August, 40-50 per cent of orders were delivered late and about 10-15 per cent of orders were cancelled. In addition, many importers have considered finding alternative sources.