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South Korea has not been able to increase imports of cephalopod
August 04, 2020, 04:00 PM
(seafood.vasep.com.vn) According to the International Trade Center (ITC), in the first four months of this year, South Korea imported cephalopod from nine importers, of which Vietnam was the third-largest supplier. Cephalopod imports of South Korea in the first four months of this year reached nearly US$96 million, down 13.4% over the same period in 2019. China was the largest supplier of cephalopod for South Korea. South Korea's cephalopod imports from staple suppliers all slumped.

In the first months of 2020, Korea was also affected hardly by the Covid-19 epidemic, demand for cephalopod imports of South Korea declined due to the closure of restaurant systems. A shutdown of the hotel and a closed school, and a drop in tourists will also reduce Korea's demand for cephalopod imports.

South Korea remained the largest importer of Vietnamese cephalopod, accounting for 42% of Vietnam's total export value of this commodity to the markets. Vietnamese cephalopod exports to South Korea dived by 6.2% in April 2020 and fell by 22.3% in the first four months of 2020 to reach US$ 63.4 million. In the first four months of this year, cephalopod exports to South Korea rose only by 14% in February, exports in the remaining three months shrunk.

The decrease in export price and demand due to the Covid-19 epidemic is one of the factors affecting Vietnam's cephalopod exports to South Korea in the first four months of 2020. The tariff advantage from the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) partly helps to boost Vietnamese cephalopod exports to this market.

In the structure of squid and octopus products of Vietnam exports to South Korea, octopus still dominated by 68.8%, squid accounted for 31.2%. In the first quarter of 2020, in the total export of squid and octopus products of Vietnam to South Korea, only export of dried/baked squid (HS 03) jumped by 19.8%, the export value of the remaining products fell in which the export value of processed octopus (HS 16) dropped the most, with a decrease of over 37%.

South Korea mainly imports cephalopod products from Vietnam such as dried squid, skin, frozen cleaning processing squid, frozen sushi squid, frozen whole octopus, chilled octopus … Vietnamese squid products exports to South Korea have higher prices than that of octopus with the average price ranging from 11-14 USD/kg. The price of Vietnamese octopus exports to South Korea has an average price of US$6- US$6.5/kg.

Currently, Vietnam enjoys a 0% export tax to Korea for fresh/live and frozen octopus products (HS030751 and HS030759). Dried octopus/ salt/live/fresh/frozen accounts for the highest proportion of total squid and octopus products exports to South Korea.

Diseases also cause economic growth decline, lower people's income. Therefore, people will only consume affordable products, limiting the consumption of higher-priced items such as squid and octopus products. Suppliers can focus on selling to online channels, prioritizing frozen, canned, deep-processed products with long shelf life, reducing fresh products due to consumers changing their consumption habits in the context of the disease.

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