(seafood.vasep.com.vn) According to Vietnam Customs statistics, by the end of April 2020, the country's seafood exports reached US$2.23 billion, down nearly 8% compared to the same period in 2019. In particular, exports in April 2020 decreased slightly by 2.9%. Seafood exports in May 2020 expected to decrease slightly by 1.6% to US$570 million, bringing the total exports of the first 5 months of 2020 to nearly US$3 billion, down over 6% over the same period last year.
The Covid 19 pandemic affected the production and business activities of Vietnam fisheries industry, causing the decline in seafood exports in the first months of the year. Seafood exports saw the decline in China and South Korea in the first two months of the year. Since March 2020, the Covid outbreak happening in EU and US countries caused exports to these markets to be delayed. As a result, Vietnam seafood exports to the US may fall by 10% in May after falling by 11% in April. Exports to the EU may decrease by 21% in May after falling by 23% in April.
In the main markets of Vietnam seafood, in the past 2 months, Japan and China market still maintained positive growth in importing Vietnamese seafood. After the Covid pandemic was basically controlled in China, since March 2020, China's demand for seafood imports recovered, Vietnam's seafood exports to the market increased continuously: increased by 35% in April and continued to increase sharply by 20% in May. Meanwhile, seafood imports into Japan from Vietnam stabilized. The seafood import value from Vietnam into Japan increased continuously in the first months of the year. In May, exports to Japan increased by 9% after rising by 16% in April. It is expected that with this growth momentum, Japan will continue to be the largest importing market of Vietnam seafood this year and will offset the significant reduction in EU and US markets. By the end of May 2020, exports to China may only about fall by 2% compared to the same period last year, by the end of June, the exports to this market are forecast to be similar or slightly increase compared to the same period in 2019.
Most of the seafood products exported by Vietnam dropped, except for shrimp that maintained a growth rate of 6% in April and May, so in the first 5 months of this year, shrimp exports saw a positive growth of nearly 4% with nearly US$1.2 billion. Pangasius exports in May may recover gradually compared to April. However, pangasius exports in Jan-May 2020 estimated to reach nearly US$600 million, down 24% year on year.
Vietnam’s total marine products exports by the end of May 2020 are estimated to US$1.1 billion, down by over 4% YoY, in which tuna sales (-18%) and cephalopod (-19% ), other marine products may still increase slightly (other marine finfish may increase by nearly 5%).
It is forecast that seafood exports by Vietnam in the coming months will recover gradually because the EU market has started to open again from May, the demand will increase gradually in the coming months. However, the Covid epidemic is complicated in the US and some other countries, so it will continue to affect the global seafood trade including Vietnam.