Vietnam’s seafood exports continue to grow despite challenges in 2016

In 2016 Vietnams seafood exports continue to grow despite challenges


World consumption decreased, relatively high production costs compared to competitor countries of Asia, currency fluctuations, challenges from the Free Trade Agreement, etc. continue to be major challenges for the fishing industry in the coming period.


These are information from the meeting over review Sum of 2015 seafood export, by Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) held in Ho Chi Minh City on the afternoon of 26th December, 2016.

Decrease due to market supply and demand

According to VASEP, the fish products exported from the country in 2015 was estimated at $ 6.7 billion, down 14.5% from the same period in 2014.

Vietnam's seafood is exported to 164 markets around the world. However, in 2015, all these markets had decrease in export turnover, ranging from 3-27% over the same period last year, except ASEAN had an increase of 8%.

Ngo Van Ich, the President of VASEP said, the three key export items, shrimp, catfish and tuna, never never dropped simultaneously like this year.

If in 2014, shrimp exports are the only bright spot resulting in a record $ 4 billion, shrimp exports in 2015 reached only 3 billion USD, down 25% from last year.

Except sea fishing products increased 5%, exports of all other major products decreased from 3-25% compared to 2014.

Also in 2015, import revenue of fish materials for domestic seafood processing is estimated at over  1 billion USD, an increase of 2.5% over the same period last year.

In general, the supply of raw materials for processing including the import and domestic production are equivalent to 2014, but exports dropped deeply.

Explaining this, according to economic experts, in 2015, the world economic degradation decreasing  demand in key markets has created reduced prices for most agricultural and fishery products, especially high-grade seafood products.

The volatility of currencies against the dollar, anti-dumping, technical barriers ... also had a strong impact on the seafood export of Vietnam in 2015.

In 2016 Vietnams seafood exports continue to grow despite challenges 1

Export seafood processing at Binh Dinh Fishery Joint Stock Company.

(Photo: Vu Sinh / Vietnam News Agency)

Assessing the results of seafood exports in 2015, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said that if fishery exports fell sharply due to lower prices, it’s not worrisome, because it is stipulated by supply and demand of world market, Vietnam's fishery exports are not outside this rule.                               

"If in 2015, seafood exports regress, then that is the matter. Since it demonstrates the competitiveness of our exports in some markets have had setbacks. Fortunatelly, in fact, Vietnam has maintained fisheries exports equivalent to last year." said Minister Cao Duc Phat.

According to the enterprises, the value of exports regression by nearly 15% is an alarm bell for Vietnam seafood industry to look back, work together to build a comprehensive strategy in the context of the sector competitiveness with other countries increasing fiercely.

Growth in difficulty

According to Mr. Ngo Van Ich, the result of the export reduction in 2015 is inevitable consequences of a uncertain, unstable growth process, which have been analyzed for a long time, but no effective remedies.

It is the stability of the material planning in long-term orientation; the quality control throughout the production chain and stable operation of the enterprise guaranteeing jobs for workers, business profits.

Mr. Ho Quoc Luc, General Director of Sao Ta Foods Joint Stock Company (Soc Trang) assumed that the most difficulty of the fisheries sector now is antibiotic residues and chemicals in farming and processing are not under control. Therefore, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should be more urgent in controlling this problem.

If this issue implemented strictly, aquaculture production may reduce, but the quality will be better improved, ensuring the prestige of Vietnam's seafood on the world market.

In 2016 Vietnams seafood exports continue to grow despite challenges 2

Tuna export processing. (Photo: Yusheng / Vietnam News Agency)

According to expert analysis, in 2016, the opportunities from the FTA bringing to seafood industry are just the first steps and whether enterprises take advantage of these or not is a considerable problem.

Meanwhile, the difficulties brought by the integration such as technical barriers, quarantine, antibiotic residues, chemicals, high production cost ... remains a major challenge for this sector.

"The production chain approach from hatcheries, feed, veterinary medicine, farming areas, water treatment systems, processing plants ..., we are floating, or if there is no strict regulations or unmanaged chaos close at some stages. It has and is causing great difficulty for the traceability required under current regulations of the world market, "said Ngo Van Ich.

In terms of climate, Vietnam suffers severe weather conditions for longest El Nino spell since 1997, which caused agricultural production to face drought, salt water intrusion, heat, unusual rain etc. more tensely, making the unstable fishery.

On the other hand, Vietnam is still facing low prices for agricultural products, currency fluctuations, anti dumping duty on pangasius, catfish monitoring program in the US, which continues to affect Vietnam seafood exports Nam in the coming time.

However, despite many difficulties and challenges, according to the forecast of VASEP, in 2016, the total seafood export turnover of Vietnam will reach about 7.12 billion USD, up 6.3% compared to 2015.

The shrimp, squid, octopus, sea fish and other marine products will have high growth rates over the next year.




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