China asked to remove obstacles to Vietnamese rock lobster exports

Vietnam expects China will remove obstacles and set aside a transitional period for Vietnamese rock lobsters to enter its market.

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien made the request at the 12th meeting of the Vietnam - China Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee held in Hanoi on November 27.

Vietnamese businesses need more time to adapt to new regulations from the Chinese market, he said.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao for his part suggested that Vietnamese businesses register their production and packaging facilities with the General Administration of Customs of China. He said relevant agencies of the two countries should also soon evaluate the capability of businesses and growing areas to export this aquatic product to China.

Rock lobster, an aquatic product of Vietnam with the highest economic value, has been stopped from being imported into China for more than two months, prompting prices to drop sharply.

Under the new Wildlife Protection Law, China requires clear proof of the farming process for rock lobsters. It does not accept lobsters raised from post larva naturally but F2 generation.

Businesses that want to export rock lobsters to China are required to get a license from the Bureau of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China.

China is the largest market for Vietnamese lobster. By the end of August, lobster exports to this market brought back US$76 million, down 42% year on year. Currently, farmers are selling rock lobster for VND1-1.3 million a kilo, half the price recorded two months ago.

At the meeting, Wang also said that China has great demand for high-quality agricultural products from Vietnam, noting many of Vietnamese agricultural products sell well on some major Chinese e-commerce platforms. He took durian as a case in point, saying China has purchased nearly US$2 billion worth of Vietnamese durian since it opened the market for the product in late 2022. He forecast that Vietnamese durian exports to China would far exceed the 2023 figure.

Wang also said China supports and creates conditions for Vietnamese businesses to stand firm and build a brand in its market.

China attaches great importance to and stays ready to coordinate in implementing measures to facilitate customs clearance to ensure the benefits of Vietnamese farmers, the Chinese Minister assured.

China is currently Vietnam’s largest trading partner and second largest export partner, after the United States. Last year, Vietnam-China trade turnover reached nearly US$175.6 billion, an increase of more than 5% compared to 2021.

Meanwhile, Vietnam is China’s fourth largest trading partner and its largest trading partner in ASEAN. In the first 10 months of this year, Vietnamese goods exported to China grew quite well, hitting nearly US$50 billion.