VCN - Production has stagnated for many months and costs have escalated, but seafood processing and exporting enterprises have made great efforts to overcome difficulties and reach the finish line.
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Talking to Customs News after completing export orders at the end of the year, Pham Hoang Viet, General Director of Sao Ta Food Joint Stock Company (FMC), said that this year, the company basically completed export orders signed with partners. Looking back at a year of overcoming many difficulties and challenges, FMC has exceeded the set targets.
As a large seafood processing and exporting enterprise in the Mekong Delta region, Sao Ta Food Joint Stock Company is one of the few enterprises to continuously maintain production and export of shrimp products, especially during the peak period of social distancing. In particular, last August, FMC narrowed the processing scale to less than 40%.
However, from the second half of September 2021, Soc Trang declared a return to a new normal, and FMC grew well. By September 21, 2021, the number of employees was slightly higher than in the same period last year. "The rapid recovery is the foundation for FMC to have positive operating results in the last months of the year, both exceeding the target and confidently completing the plan targets in 2021 including sales of US$200 million, profit of VND250 billion," said Pham Hoang Viet.
Similarly, with two seafood processing factories for export in Can Tho City and An Giang Province, Nam Viet Joint Stock Company has tried to maintain production in difficult conditions. Thanks to the cold storage capacity of up to 6,000 tons, the factory has enough raw materials to maintain production during the period of social distancing.
Despite many difficulties, the company still managed to maintain revenue from frozen pangasius in July and August, reaching more than US$18.5 million, of which the Thailand and Colombia markets were still growing well, reaching a turnover of nearly US$3 million in August - the peak month of implementing social distancing.
During the 4th outbreak, seafood processing and exporting enterprises in the Mekong Delta were severely affected. According to a survey by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), since August 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly spread from Ho Chi Minh City to the southwestern provinces and cities. The Mekong Delta implemented Directive 16 strictly, so from transporting raw materials, to carrying out import-export procedures, C/O procedures, port procedures, etc., hundreds of businesses had to temporarily suspend operations, greatly affecting the production and delivery progress of enterprises.
According to Ta Ha, VASEP's pangasius market expert, by the end of August 2021, only about 30-40% of seafood enterprises in southern provinces and cities could operate "3 on one spot"; about 30-40% of businesses that are not eligible to follow this model have had to stop production, the remainder have suspended production to reorganize the factory to ensure "3 on one spot" implementation. It is estimated that the overall capacity of the whole region has decreased by 60-70%. This situation has affected 40-50% of orders being delivered late and about 10-15% of orders being cancelled.
However, from October 2021, with the support from the Government's Resolution 128/NQ-CP, more than two months after opening the economy, many businesses have recovered their production capacity by 70-90%. As a result, the production and business results of the seafood industry recovered strongly at the end of the year.
According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, in the last months of the year, seafood export has kept a very good growth momentum, in November, export turnover reached over US$875 million.
By the end of November 2021, Vietnam's seafood export has reached US$7.96 billion. With this momentum, seafood exports reached about US$8.7 billion. This is an achievement, because from July to the end of September 2021, the seafood industry was almost "frozen" in all activities of farming, processing and exporting. The supply of raw materials and labor force was broken, a series of processing factories had to close, while difficulties piled up.
Maintain export turnover
Despite the outbreak of the disease in the Mekong Delta, currently, the orders of seafood companies are abundant, ready to be fulfilled in the first months of 2022.
According to Nam Viet Joint Stock Company, the company's orders have been filled to capacity until the first quarter of 2022 and all orders are signed with high prices. Nam Viet Joint Stock Company has adapted well to the pandemic when it solved the inventory problem, specifically, the inventory decreased sharply compared to before the lockdown.
At the same time, the disease situation caused many pangasius supplies to be cut off and the shipping fee increased sharply, causing demand to increase, so the price of fish sold suddenly increased, with orders signed at high prices. This is considered an opportunity for Nam Viet Joint Stock Company to prove its strong financial potential to overcome this challenging period.
Determining that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be complicated and unpredictable; production, processing and export of aquatic products continue to face many difficulties due to the pandemic, in addition to difficulties related to the new Order 248 and the Order 249 of the General Department of Customs of China on the import of agricultural and aquatic products, but with the efforts of enterprises to overcome difficulties, the seafood industry is still determined to set an export target of US$8.9 billion in 2022, equal to 101.1% compared to the whole year 2021.
Experts said that, despite many difficulties, the seafood industry still has many development opportunities in the first months of 2022 with many advantages from FTAs.
At the macro level, the Government has approved a project to develop the fisheries sector in the 2021-2030 period, with the goal of developing fisheries into an important national economic sector, producing large commodities associated with industrialization and modernization, sustainable development, and proactively adapting to climate change.
Striving to bring Vietnam into the Top 5 seafood exporting countries of the world.
According to this project, the fisheries sector focuses on developing products with high added value, focusing on the main product groups of shrimp, pangasius, and tuna; diversifying processed products, focusing on research and development of products from tuna, seaweed and by-products; extraction of biologically active compounds of high value for the food, chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
With these specific targets, it will be the driving force to promote the export of our country's billion-dollar industry in the future.
By Le Thu/ Kieu Oanh