Seafood exports rise to $2 billion in Q1

Seafood exports were worth nearly US$2 billion in the first quarter, 8 per cent up year-on-year, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The US, Japan and China - Hong Kong were the three largest importers.

Exports to the US increased by 16 per cent to $330 million, with shrimp, tuna, tra fish, and crab exports rising by 13-53 per cent.

VASEP said tra fish prices in the US recovered after bottoming at the end of last year, and white-legged shrimp export prices also went up slightly though still low compared to average prices in the last five years.

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) recently announced the final findings of the 19th anti-dumping duty administrative review of Việt Nam’s frozen tra fish fillets exported to the US between August 1, 2021 and July 31, 2022, and the anti-dumping tax rate for five Vietnamese companies was $0.18 per kilogramme.

The rate was lower than following previous reviews, and provides a positive outlook for tra fish exporters, VASEP said.

Last month the DOC also announced preliminary countervailing duties on Vietnamese, Indian and Ecuadorian shrimp, and Việt Nam's general tax rate was significantly lower than for the other two, it said.

Speaking about the Chinese market, the association said tra fish, white-legged shrimp, lobster, anchovies, and crabs are major seafood exports to it, with lobster, crabs and white-legged shrimp exports rising by 11 times, seven times and 2.5 times in the first quarter from a year earlier.

According to businesses, China is tightening inspection of shrimp imported from Ecuador, causing supply from that country to decrease and creating opportunities for Vietnamese firms to increase their exports of white-legged shrimp to the market.

Exports of white-legged shrimp and crab to the Japanese market showed positive signs with increases of 20 per cent and 23 per cent.

Vietnamese tra fish is becoming increasingly popular in Japan, with exports rising by 25 per cent in Q1.

The association said shrimp and tra fish exports to other markets such as the EU and Korea had not yet shown clear signs of recovery, but tuna exports to the two were up 27 per cent and 15 per cent.

In general, tuna exports to major markets were solid, with exports to the US and Japan rising by 30 per cent and 9 per cent, it said.

Squid and octopus exports to Korea increased by 16 per cent, while exports to other major markets such as the US and Japan decreased by 3 per cent and 21 per cent.

The average export prices, though still low were generally higher than that at the end of 2023, VASEP said, hoping companies would get more orders at better prices after upcoming international seafood fairs in the US, EU and Japan.

Lê Hằng, VASEP’s communications director, said Việt Nam, the world's top exporter of frozen shrimp after India and Ecuador, could get new opportunities to boost exports since Ecuador and India were being warned about antibiotic residue and labour issues.

But the problems they face were also lessons for Vietnamese firms to be cautious and strictly comply with regulations in import markets as well as at home to sustain exports. 

Source: Vietnam News