Seafood exports in 2024 aim for US$10 billion

VCN - On June 10, 2024, at the 2024 General Assembly of Members held by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), seafood enterprises and regulatory agencies proposed numerous solutions to achieve the goal of US$10 billion in exports for 2024.
Seafood exports are expected to recover in 2024 Seafood exports are expected to recover in 2024
Seafood exports surge in several markets Seafood exports surge in several markets
Seafood exports in 2024 aim for US$10 billion
Processing tuna for export at Binh Dinh Seafood Joint Stock Company. Photo: T.H

Exports in the first half of the year will reach US$4.4 billion

Assessing the export results of the seafood sector in the first five months of 2024, Nguyen Thi Thu Sac, President of VASEP, stated that the country's seafood exports reached nearly US$3.6 billion, an increase of 6% compared to the same period in 2023.

Among the main products, squid, octopus, and other types of fish had lower export values compared to the same period last year, decreasing by 1% and 3%, respectively. Shrimp and pangasius exports increased slightly, by 7% and 4%, respectively, while crab exports saw the strongest growth at 84%, tuna exports increased by 22%, and mollusk exports rose by 13%.

Analyzing the markets, Sac noted that among the top four markets, only the US showed positive signs with a 7% growth, while exports to China, Japan, and the EU remained almost unchanged compared to last year, and exports to South Korea increased slightly by 2%.

The slow and cautious recovery of markets, competitive pressures on export prices and supply, along with domestic production challenges such as rising input costs and raw material shortages, continue to impact Vietnam's seafood exports in 2024.

VASEP forecasted that seafood exports in the first half of 2024 would reach US$4.4 billion, a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2023. It is expected that after the second quarter of 2024, inventory issues and transportation difficulties would ease, demand would recover, and prices would rise again in the third quarter, coinciding with the high-demand period for year-end festivals.

Determined to lift the yellow card

According to enterprises, the seafood industry is facing a shortage of both farmed and wild-caught raw materials. The difficulty in sourcing wild-caught seafood due to depleting resources and insufficient catch volumes necessitates additional imports. However, EU market regulations and Vietnam's new IUU (illegal, unreported, and unregulated) fishing regulations are further complicating raw material supply issues.

Representatives from shrimp, pangasius, and seafood exporting companies suggested building a positive image and marketing for Vietnamese pangasius, addressing export challenges for tuna, and exploring the potential of exporting squid, octopus, and surimi from Vietnam.

Discussing the challenges in the shrimp industry, Do Ngoc Tai, General Director of Tai Kim Anh seafood processing company, noted that Vietnamese shrimp exports are present in over 100 markets. In the top five major markets, the US market grew by about 5%, the EU market remained stable compared to last year, the Japanese market decreased by 4% mainly in processed goods, and the Chinese market increased by 41%. However, it is forecasted that Vietnamese shrimp exports to China would face difficulties in the latter part of the year.

Additionally, one of the challenges mentioned by the enterprises is the sharp increase in sea freight rates. For instance, the freight rate to the US surged by 40% from May 2024, and the rate to the EU increased by 60% due to the Middle East conflict and China's pre-emptive booking of empty containers for exports to the US before the new tariff deadlines.

To achieve the set goals, enterprises need to adapt and adjust their operational plans to align with market conditions, diversify export markets to avoid dependency, and strengthen exports to new markets while expanding and promoting the domestic market.

Furthermore, they need to enhance product image promotion to consumers, build recognition for Vietnamese seafood, and keep updated with market information to accurately assess developments and respond appropriately and timely.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien emphasized that for sustainable seafood exports, it is crucial to lift the IUU yellow card, diversify export products, promote trade both domestically and internationally, and promptly address any obstacles and bottlenecks affecting exports. Particularly, to remove the IUU yellow card, provinces must manage fishing fleets, ensure traceability, thoroughly investigate violating fishing ports, and prosecute serious offenders.

By Le Thu/ Ha Thanh

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