Fisheries sector sets sights on US$10 billion export target

Positive signs in key markets

During the past five months of the year, Vietnam's aquatic exports edged up 6% to reach nearly US$3.6 billion against the same period last year. The strongest export growth was recorded in crab with 84%, followed by tuna with 22%, and shellfish with 13%.

Most notably, seafood exports to the United States enjoyed robust growth with turnover soaring by 7% to US$605 million.

Aquatic exports to China, Japan, and the EU stood at the equivalent to the same period from last year, while exports to the Republic of Korea and the Middle East posted respective increases of 2% and 19% on-year.

Do Ngoc Tai, general director of Tai Kim Anh Seafood Processing Joint Stock Company, emphasised that China has surpassed the US to become the largest consumer of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 20% of the overall market shares.

Meanwhile, shrimp exports to several markets such as Canada, the UK, and Russia also bounced back with growth rates of 51%, 15%, and 332%, respectively.

Nguyen Thi Thu Sac, chairwoman of the VASEP, said seafood exports are predicted to reach US$4.4 billion in the first half of the year, up 6% with demand and export prices rebounding in the second half of the year.

Challenges remain

Industry insiders pointed out that despite recording a number of positive signs, the seafood industry has encountered numerous difficulties, including competitive pressure on export prices, rising input costs, and a general shortage of raw materials.

Currently, many local businesses are concerned about anti-dumping lawsuits launched by the US, while the yellow card warning against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU)  imposed by the European Commission (EC) remains a burden for Vietnamese firms.

Moreover, ongoing tensions in the Red Sea have continued to make transportation costs escalate, and trade conflicts among major powers and large inventories in import markets set to remain a hindrance for the sector over the remaining months of the year.

According to Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the VASEP, to achieve the export target of US$10 billion this year, local enterprises are required to adjust their plans to suit the market demand.

“It is hoped that Vietnam will be recognized as a market economy in the near future, while the EC’s IUU yellow card will be lifted moving forward, which will expert a positive impact to help bolster aquatic exports during the year-end,” Hoe noted.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien proposed that the VASEP needs to regularly evaluate market developments, devise solutions, and augment co-operation with businesses as a way of further boosting market expansion.

Source: VOV