Fishery enterprises prioritize exporting value-added processed products

VCN - Market fluctuations in recent years have shown that choosing a business strategy for value-added processed products is more suitable for Vietnam's fishery enterprises.
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Value added products are being increasingly exported by businesses
Value added products are being increasingly exported by businesses

Exporting value-added processed products

At the end of April 2024, nearly 40 Vietnamese fishery processing and exporting enterprises showcased a series of deep-processed products to foreign partners through the 2024 Global Seafood Exhibition in Spain.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), processed products such as instant shrimp and pangasius were processed into rich and diverse dishes that attracted many visitors to taste directly at the booths. The processed products are very diverse, mixed with many high-quality ingredients highly appreciated by customers.

Market fluctuations in recent years have shown that choosing a business strategy for value-added processed products is more suitable for Vietnam's fishery enterprises. Therefore, there is a structural shift in product composition in each main export sector.

In the first quarter of this year, regarding export of pangasius products, while exports of frozen fillet pangasius decreased by 5%, exports of value-added processed pangasius products increased by 16%, and dried pangasius exports increased by nearly 9%. It is noteworthy that two sub-products, namely pangasius fish bubbles and fish skin snacks, recorded significant increases.

Specifically, the export of pangasius fish bubbles reached US$19.4 million, up 17%, with the main consumption market being China accounting for 79%.

Similarly, shrimp products exported in the first quarter of this year also focused on growth in the headless shrimp product line. For tuna, the canned product line experienced the strongest growth, increasing by 48% compared to the same period.

In markets such as the US, EU, and Japan, value-added processed products are advantages for Vietnam.

According to enterprises, although seafood exports to the EU in particular and other markets in general experienced a sharp decline in 2023, seafood exports to the EU still account for a large proportion. In the first quarter of 2024, Vietnam's seafood exports to the EU reached US$210 million, down 4% compared to the same period, with the EU accounting for 10.8% of Vietnam's total seafood exports. Vietnamese shrimp exports to the EU reached US$81 million in the first quarter of this year, down 9% compared to the same period. Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium were the three largest shrimp importing markets for Vietnam in the region.

This showed that the EU has long been one of Vietnam's traditional seafood markets since the early stages. Therefore, maintaining Vietnam's seafood presence at the Global Seafood Exhibition has always been the top priority for enterprises.

Adaptation to each market

According to enterprises, in the context of each market, seafood exporting enterprises supply products that suit the tastes of consumers. For example, for the Chinese market, live seafood items have more potential.

In the first quarter of this year, China is increasing demand for Vietnamese live lobsters, live crabs, grouper fish, barramundi fish, squid, and frozen cuttlefish. Chinese consumers' interest in imported live seafood brings opportunities for seafood exporters. Especially, high-value items such as lobsters, king crabs, and green crabs with high demand will be opportunities for enterprises to increase market share in this populous market.

According to VASEP's assessment, the US and China are the two markets determining the growth of Vietnam's seafood in the past two years. Especially, in the first quarter of 2024, seafood exports to China and the US both saw significant increases due to high demand.

The top three markets of Japan, the US, and China - Hong Kong accounted for nearly 50% of the total seafood export turnover of US$1.95 billion in the first quarter of 2024.

A bright spot is the export of the main catfish product line to the UAE market. According to Vietnamese customs data, in the first three months of this year, catfish exports to this market reached over US$7 million, up 67% compared to the same period last year. The UAE mainly imports frozen fillet products from Vietnam, with over US$2 million in March 2024, up 51% compared to March 2023 and up 81% from the previous month. This product accounts for up to 93% of the total catfish exports from Vietnam to the UAE. In the first quarter of 2024, this market imported nearly US$7 million of frozen fillet catfish from Vietnam, up 56% compared to the same period last year.

The room for catfish exports to this region is still good as the population in the UAE is increasing, the income of the people is high, and urbanization is happening quickly. Increasing disposable income and the preference of young people for aquatic protein, along with forecasted tourism, will drive seafood consumption to increase further.

Currently, inflation and inventory continue to affect the consumption and import of seafood in many markets. Besides, there are many challenges and barriers in 2024 affecting Vietnam's seafood production and export, such as the IUU yellow card for exploited seafood, anti-subsidy taxes for warm-water shrimp exported to the US, and tension in the Red Sea increasing maritime transport costs.

By Le Thu/ Ha Thanh

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