With increased orders, seafood exports for the whole year will reach 9 billion USD

VCN - Total seafood export turnover in the third quarter of 2023 is only 12% lower than the same period last year, and is also the smallest decrease in the first 3 quarters of the year. With many positive signals from main markets, seafood exports this year are expected to reach 9 billion USD.
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With increased orders, seafood exports for the whole year will reach 9 billion USD
Seafood exports in the fourth quarter of 2023 are expected to reach 2.4 billion USD, equal to the previous year

Key export products prospered

Ms. Le Hang, Communications Director of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that in the first 9 months of this year, Vietnam's seafood exports reached 6.6 billion USD, down 22.6% compared with the same period last year. Exports dropped sharply in the first half of the year (-27%), but from June, the negative growth gradually narrowed. Particularly in September, export sales were only 5% lower than in the same period. Therefore, the total seafood export turnover in the third quarter is only 12% lower than the third quarter of 2022 - also the smallest decrease in the first 3 quarters of the year.

The group of 3 key export products of Vietnamese seafood including shrimp, pangasius, and tuna all showed more positive signals in the third quarter, with the highest export turnover and the lowest negative growth rate since the beginning of the year.

Statistics show that, after a decrease of 28% in the second quarter, in the third quarter, shrimp exports were only 13% lower than in the same period. Meanwhile, pangasius sales were 12% lower, and tuna sales were down nearly 8%, compared to -41% and -31% respectively in the second quarter.

From a market perspective, according to VASEP's assessment, seafood exports to major consumer markets such as the US, EU, China, and Korea all decreased by 17-34%, while exports to Japan decreased less (-13%).

Among major market blocks, the Middle East has been considered an attractive destination for Vietnamese businesses in the last 2 years, in the face of war fluctuations, inflation, and the energy price crisis. In the third quarter, this market block alone will have positive growth in seafood imports from Vietnam, at 2% over the same period in 2022, and the cumulative 9 months of 2023 will also have the lowest decrease, at 8%, while ASEAN and CPTPP markets decreased by 15% and 20% respectively over the same period.

Depends on 2 major markets

According to experts, seafood export results in the third quarter have improved compared to the first months of the year, but there has not been a strong breakthrough to see a stable trend in the near future, because the comparative level in the first half of 2022 is already low, after rising high in the first half of 2022.

The level of recovery in seafood export sales in the coming time depends largely on two main markets: the US and China. Both of these markets have positive signals in terms of demand.

According to businesses, export orders from these two markets are increasing again, but export prices are still lower than the same period last year. For example, the average export price of frozen pangasius fillets to the US market in the first 9 months of this year has continuously been 25-40% lower than the same period in 2022. In addition to competing with other white meat fish species such as codfish, pollock, and tilapia, Vietnamese pangasius exported to the US will have to compete with its own inventory from 2022. Experts predict that at least until 2024, there will be a better chance of recovery when the pressure on inventory is no longer great.

Regarding the Chinese market, not only Vietnam, but many other exporting countries are also looking forward to a stable recovery after COVID-19, especially after the holidays this fall - a time when Chinese demand usually increases. Because many supplies target this market, the purchase price of Chinese importers is low. However, this is still a potential destination for Vietnamese exporters, especially after China banned seafood imports from Japan.

With the gradual recovery from markets, it is forecast that seafood exports in the fourth quarter of 2023 could bring in about 2.4 billion USD, equivalent to the same period last year, bringing the export turnover of the whole year 2023 to 9 billion USD, 17% lower than in 2022.

By Le Thu/ Huu Tuc

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