Recently, seafood exports in the Mekong Delta have seen many bright spots and impressive growth. Despite a deceleration lately, export enterprises have affirmed that they would strive to overcome difficulties, achieving a seafood export turnover of US$11 billion in 2022 - a record milestone for Vietnam's seafood industry.
The Office of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the Trade Promotion Agency, on the afternoon of April 22, informed the press that the EU market needed to import a large volume of seafood after the pandemic, opening up opportunities for Vietnamese seafood enterprises.
Despite being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the initiative from the beginning of the year and the efforts of relevant sectors, associations, and business community, seafood exports have seen a breakthrough, with shrimp products posting impressive growth.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), thanks to free trade agreements, it is forecasted that Vietnam's seafood exports will increase by 10 percent, reaching above US$9.4 billion next year.
According to the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries, with 82 percent of fishing vessels equipped with vessel monitoring systems, traceability and the application of culturing area codes have significantly improved. However, if there is still one fishing vessel that has not registered or illegally exploits, the European Commission (EC) will continue to keep a yellow card or even give a red card to Vietnam.
Despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, enterprises in the Mekong Delta recently have promoted the processing of high-value seafood products to increase their exports to many markets around the world. Seafood exports are showing signs of recovery and opportunities for enterprises to accelerate to finish their plans in the last months of the year.
The Chinese market currently has a high demand for seafood after the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is also forming a coffee culture, with the number of coffee shops is on the increase, so Chinese enterprises are increasing imports. This is a good opportunity for Vietnamese agricultural and aquatic product exporters.
Chinese authorities might strengthen food safety inspection, supervision, quarantine testing, and traceability on imported agricultural and aquatic products that will possibly affect the progress of customs clearance of goods at border gates between Vietnam and China.
According to the latest statistics of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, seafood exports in March this year were estimated to drop by nearly 20 percent compared to the same period last year, merely reaching US$549 million.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development set seafood export target at US$10 billion for this year, but after the first eight months of this year, seafood exports merely reached $5.4 billion, down 2.6 percent over the same period last year. Therefore, from now until the end of this year, authorities and enterprises must promote seafood export in order to achieve the target.
Seafood exports of Vietnam to the EU market have been affected seriously, dropping by 6.5 percent to nearly US$390 million in 2018 and continuing to be stagnant in the first eight months of this year with $251 million after two years since the European Commission issued an official card warning against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) exploitation on Vietnamese seafood.
After declining for a long time, the prices of shrimps in Mekong Delta provinces have rebounded, encouraging farmers to continue to expand farming areas. Export of shrimps also showed signs of recovery, fostering enterprises to speed up during the last months of this year.
Promoting Vietnamese seafood exports to China was the main focus of a workshop held by the Vietnam Pangasius Association (VPA) and China’s Yuexi fisheries association in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on April 18.
In August, Vietnam posted $3.1 billion in agro-forestry and seafood exports, bringing the whole country’s agro-forestry, seafood exports to $23 billion in eight months, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on August 27.