Mar 09, 2021 / 16:03

Vietnam seafood exports surpass US$1-billion mark in 2-month

The US, EU and member countries of the CPTPP would continue to be in the focus for Vietnam’s seafood exports, thanks to preferential treatment from the deal and strong demand.

Despite a decline of 19% year-on-year in Vietnam’s seafood export turnover in February, the country’s total in the first two months surpassed over US$1 billion, representing an increase of 2.2% year-on-year.

 Frozen catfish at Go Dang company, located at My Tho Industrial Park. Photo: Hung Viet

In the first two months of 2021, catfish and shrimp continued to be the two spotlights of Vietnam’s seafood exports with corresponding turnovers of US$214 million and US$380 million, accounting for 21.4% and 38% of total exports, respectively.

A report from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) noted there have been a growing demand in the global market for affordable seafood products with long expiration date and easy-to-cook at home.

Vietnam’s fishing sector has also received welcome news in early 2021 as the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) decided to revoke anti-dumping charge of 10% on shrimp products exported to the US from Minh Phu Seafood Corporation.

VASEP suggested the local shrimp products could further take advantage from Vietnam’s existing free trade agreements, especially the EVFTA that ensure a 0% import duty for shrimp exported to the EU.

In January, Japan became Vietnam’s largest seafood buyer with US$112.2 million, down 13.5% against the previous month but up 26.5% year-on-year, followed by the US with US$109.8 million.

Vietnam was the 7th largest seafood supplier for the US in 2020 with 228,900 tons, up 1.8% year-on-year.

Given a favorable short-term outlook for seafood exports, VASEP expected the export in March to rise by 1.5% year-on-year to US$640 million, in which the US, EU and markets under the CPTPP would continue to be in the focus, thanks to preferential treatment from the deal and strong demand.

VASEP, however, warned local producers to further improve product quality to compete with seafood products from major manufacturers such as India or Indonesia, saying this would be a key task to help realize the target for seafood exports of US$8.8 billion in 2021, or an increase of 5% against last year.