August 15, 2018 18:09

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Seafood export is full of difficulties, but it is still achieving good growth

20:29 | 08/06/2018

VCN- From the beginning of the year to the present time, in spite of facing certain difficulties from large export markets, typically the United States, the EU and internal difficulties, seafood exports still recorded steady growth, laying a good foundation for a successful export year.

seafood export is full of difficulties but it is still achieving good growth
Definitely resolving the instability of the shrimp industry is one of the important directions to promote sustainable seafood export.

Exports increased more than 9%

According to the latest statistics from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, seafood export value in May was estimated at $ 671 million, bringing the volume of seafood export in 5 months to an estimated $ 3.12 billion, up 9.7% over the same period of 2017. The United States, Japan, China and Korea are the top 4 importing markets for Vietnamese seafood in the first four months, accounting for 52.7% of the total seafood export value. In the first four months of the year, the value of seafood exports increased significantly: the Netherlands (60.2%), China (28.8%), the United Kingdom (27.4%) and Germany (27%).

In the assessment of major export seafood items, shrimp and pangasius, it is easy to see that the shrimp market in the first 5 months is relatively stable for tiger shrimp, but there is a dramatic drop in shrimp prices. White shrimp prices fell in the world with increased harvests in some countries. In particular, the size of shrimp from 70-100 individuals / kg is subject to the sharpest decline, 30,000 VND / kg compared to the beginning of the year, the other sizes decreased from 15,000-20,000 VND / kg. In contrast, pangasius continuously receives positive information when the market is always hot in the context of scarce supply. At the beginning of the year, the price of pangasius fluctuated from 27,000-29,000 VND / kg, now setting a new peak with the common price of 31,000-333,000 VND / kg (grade I). It is forecasted that with the situation on raw material supply for export, demand this year will be limited, however, export price of catfish is good and can last until the end of the year.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), there are a number of factors that may have a negative impact on seafood exports throughout 2018, such as the US catfish inspection program; The Anti-dumping duty on shrimp and pangasius to the United States and the European Commission's "yellow card" ... In addition, some internal issues such as lack of raw materials for export processing, antibiotics, price into production are still in the process of improvement. "If these factors are not resolved effectively, they would be the risks for suppressing positive efforts, such as the outcome of the implementation of bilateral and multilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs); building quality of goods, promoting trade, value added products and improving business environment, ... ", said Truong Dinh Hoe, Vice President cum Secretary General of VASEP.

Boosting the value of exports

From the first months in the year, the fisheries sector only set a target of USD 9 billion for the whole year, at present, basing on the results achieved, this figure has been adjusted to $ 10 billion. In particular, the shrimp reached $ 4.8 billion, up 26%; Pangasius gained $ 2 billion, up 10% and seafood products reached $ 3.3 billion, up 22%.

Some experts recognize that from the present time until the end of the year, as well as the future, to promote seafood export, besides the solutions on active breeding, potential market development, it is important and necessary to set orientations for production and export of value-added goods, and at the same time, focusing on solving acute problems in the shrimp industry as soon as possible.

Regarding this issue, VASEP has analyzed that: Shrimp has been identified as the main item of Vietnam's export seafood in the next 10 years with structure accounting for 45-75% of total export turnover of seafood. In addition to the advantages that Vietnam has built such as production, there are ecological shrimp, high value added content, modern processing technology ..., the two issues are infection by antibiotics and impurities that have not been resolved definitely, causing rather a big impact on production and exports of shrimp. This has caused the community of enterprises increasing more than the control activities, with quality testing in the chain at the source and finished products. All of these factors make for increases of production costs, limiting the number of sources of goods to ensure the prestige of the goods and the belief of customers.

In terms of production and export of agricultural commodities in general, seafood in particular, VASEP said that the problem of development, commodity problem and commodity industry in agriculture and fisheries, that in the future it should be oriented in terms of the perspective of value added to the product, including from processing technology, food safety, packaging, product information, convenience, certification, communication and publicity. At present, some Vietnamese seafood products such as white leg shrimp, canned tuna, canned crab meat, surimi ... have started to do so. However, it is noteworthy that the results are mostly derived from the "pulling" of the market, not entirely the objective objectives of Vietnam. Therefore, VASEP recommends the Government to review and develop the "Agro-Fishery Product Value Added Vietnam" program until 2025 in line with the goal of linking value added to the whole production chain. Selecting value-added elements for each important step in the chain of production and processing and appropriate incentive policies will be issued to definitely promote the tendency so as to increase the value of export products.

By Thanh Nguyễn/Bui Diep