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Opportunity to boost seafood exports to Russia
August 29, 2014, 02:41 PM
(vasep.com.vn) According to General Customs, in the first 7 months of 2014, Vietnam seafood exports to Russia reached US$ 36.2 million, up 5.4% year on year. Vietnam seafood exports to Russia is forecast to increase more sharply in the second half, thanks to Russia’s lifting suspension on seafood imports of 7 Vietnam companies and FTAs with the Customs Union.

Seafood exports to Russia increased by 150% in January and then Russia banned imports of pangasius from Vietnam, exports to this market started to be down. In March, seafood exports to Russia decreased by 22-28% compared to the same period last year. It is noticed that in 2013, pangasius was accounted for 44% of total Vietnam seafood exports to Russia while in the first 6 months of this year, this was only 11%.

In June 2014, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development sent a delegation to Russia to solve technical problems, resuming pangasius exports to Russia, to promote cooperation in food safety control and disease control on animals as well as animal-derived products. The two countries agreed to review and update the information in exchange information on food safety, disease of aquaculture and terrestrial animals.

Vietnam delegation proposed consideration on 50 firms, including 30 firms exporting pangasius to Russia and Customs Union.

As a result, in early August, Russia lifted the suspension on seafood imported from Vietnam for 7 companies, of which 5 with pangasius products and 2 with frozen shrimp.

In 2013, total value of imports and exports between Vietnam and Russia reached US$ 2.76 billion, up 12.6% year on year. Vietnam exports were US$ 1.9 billion, up 17.7%. In particular, exported seafood products reached US$ 105 million, up 4.5%.

Russia is an attractive market with tax incentives and strong consumption. The 6th round of negotiations completing technical issues for FTA between Customs Union and Vietnam ended last June, consistent with the schedule. Accordingly, Vietnam will be the first Southeast Asian nation to sign FTA with Customs Union. The Agreement would be signed in late 2014 and early 2015. This would bring great exporting opportunities to Russia for Vietnam enterprises.

The 7th negotiating session scheduled to take place in September 2014 in Saint - Petersburg. This will be a chance for Vietnam to push Russia to strengthen cooperation to ensure food safety for agricultural products, to increase the number of Vietnam seafood exporters allowed to join this market, and to regulate microorganism limit in aquatic products.

Russian banned seafood imports from the United States, the EU, Norway, Canada and Australia within 1 year from date of 7th August 2014 because of political issues related to Ukraine. Products from other countries would be considered as substitutes. Norway, with the salmon products, is by far the largest seafood supplier to Russia, accounted for 36-41% of the market in the past 5 years. The United States, accounted for 2.5% market share, offers mostly roes, cod and other frozen fish. Most EU imports to Russia are mackerel, sardines, salmon and other fish types.

This will be a good opportunity for Vietnam and other countries to boost seafood exports to Russia. Vietnam pangasius  may have the opportunity to return to the Russian market, replacing the white fish products limited due to Russian ban on 7th August.


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