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A 31-percent rise in Vietnamese seafood exports through April
August 01, 2014, 11:31 AM
(vasep.com.vn) In the first 4 months of 2014, Vietnamese seafood exports kept the growth trend recorded in 2013 with stable supply of raw shrimp and positive growth in shrimp sales to all foreign markets. Through April 2014, seafood exports had a worth of US$2.3 billion, up 31 percent year on year. Sales of pangasius products reported a slight rise. Cephalopod and other marine products were also recovering. Only tuna still got deep fall in exports.


With high rise in sales and a proportion of 48 percent in Vietnamese seafood exports, shrimp was the key item and the impetus of Vietnam export-driven industry. In January – April 2014, exports of whiteleg shrimp valued at US$666 million, up 192 percent year on year; exports of black tiger shrimp were worth by US$382 million, up 14 percent. This led to the increase of 82 percent to reach US$1.13 billion in the country’s total shrimp exports. This period, Vietnam shrimp exports saw many advantages such as abundant domestic supply of raw material, higher prices of shrimp sold to main importing markets and weakening supply from other shrimp producing countries like Thailand and China.

Shrimp got strong year-on-year rise in shipments to most markets: the U.S., the EU, Korea and Switzerland up 168 percent, 110 percent and 124 percent, respectively; other markets got two-digit growth (from 11 – 80 percent).


Through April 2014, pangasius exports increased by 2.1 percent year on year to US$546 million. There was drop in both farming superficies and fish output in the first months of the year. Exports to the EU were still on the down trend with a drop of 10 percent. Despite a rise of 12 percent and 45 percent in the first 2 months of the year, shipments to the U.S. started to decrease sharply in March, leading to a drop of nearly 9 percent in exports in the first 4 months of 2014.

Brazil, ASEAN, Mexico, Colombia and China increased pangasius purchases from Vietnam by 11 – 36 percent. These markets represented 33 percent in Vietnam’s total pangasius export value. The EU occupied 21 percent and the U.S. with 19 percent.


Despite better fishing activities and large catch in the first months of the year, Vietnam still saw drop in landings of tuna – one of the key export species. Through April 2014, tuna exports decreased 21 percent to US$163 million; 59 percent of which was fresh/frozen tuna (HS code 03) (the proportion downed 27 percent) and 41 percent was processed tuna (-11 percent).

Tuna reported drop in exports to most important markets: the U.S. (-26 percent), Japan (-66 percent), the EU (-0.8 percent). These markets still had stable demand for tuna products. Japan imported 66.7 thousand MT of tuna in Q.I/2014, compared to 65 thousand MT a year ago. The drop was seen in imports of frozen big eye tuna and yellowfin tuna while frozen skipjack tuna and canned tuna got rise. Thailand, the Philippines, China and Taiwan also reported rise in tuna imports. Imports into the U.S. fell 2 percent to 59.7 thousand MT.

Vietnam kept high growth of 7 percent, 22.6 percent and 40 percent in tuna exports to Canada, Israel and Lebanon, respectively. This year, Canada much reduced imports of tuna of all products and varieties, except frozen skipjack tuna. This is an opportunity for Vietnamese companies to boost sales of this kind of product to the market.


Vietnamese cephalopod exports dropped in the 2 consecutive years and continued decreasing by 13 percent in January 2014. However, since February 2014 they started to grow considerably in February (+23 percent), in March (+20 percent) and in June (+36 percent). Through April 2014, exports reached US$136.5 million, up 14 percent year on year. Squid products brought back US$83.4 million, accounting for 61 percent; octopus reached US$53.1 million. This year, Vietnam sees positive signs for exports because of stronger demand for these products in importing markets.

South Korea – the largest market of Vietnamese cephalopod – got the strongest growth of 24 percent to US$48 million of imports from Vietnam, accounting for 35 percent. The EU, ASEAN, China and Australia all increased purchases of Vietnamese products. In Q.I/2014, exports to South Korea rose 12 percent to over 33 thousand MT. Vietnam was the third largest cephalopod supplier to this market, after China and Chile. Exports to Australia also rose 17 percent to nearly 6 thousand MT. Vietnam ranked the 6th among leading suppliers to Australia.

Japan was the second largest importer of Vietnam, but sales to this destination got slight drop due to weakened demand. In Q.I/2014, Japanese purchase from Vietnam was 19.8 thousand MT, down 30 percent. Vietnam was the 4th largest supplier to Japan, after China, Morocco and Mauritania.

However, Vietnamese companies had to import more raw cephalopod from Thailand, Malaysia and Taiwan to complete supply contract with foreign buyers.

Crab and other crustaceans:

Through April 2014, Vietnamese exports of these products were US$26 million, up nearly 14 percent year on year.

Marine fish products:

Vietnamese marine fish exports got the high growth of 20.5 percent to US$292 million in the first 4 months of 2014, accounting for 12.6 percent of Vietnam total seafood export.

Kim Thu
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