The EU position in the big picture of Vietnam’s seafood exports

( In the last days of October 2022, Vietnam's seafood industry was quite busy and nervous with the event that the EU inspection delegation came to inspect the reality of Vietnam's fishing industry and how Vietnam implemented recommendations against IUU fishing and any improvement.

In the context of a volatile year such as war, inflation, currency devaluation, the concern of seafood enterprises will become even more serious if the IUU yellow card has not been removed or in the worst case , Vietnam receives the red card.

After 5 years of being warned of a yellow card, where is the EU in the picture of Vietnam's seafood exports?

According to Customs statistics, by the end of the third quarter of 2022, the EU27 market bloc accounted for 12% of Vietnam's seafood export value, ranking fourth after the US, Japan, China - Hong Kong. In the picture of export value of $ 8.5 billion with all green growth in the first 9 months of 2022, the EU market also contributed a bright color gamut with a value of $ 1 billion, up 40% compared to the same period in 2021.

By the end of the third quarter, with 272 million USD, exports of marine products accounted for only 26% of seafood export value to the EU market, up 29%. Meanwhile, aquaculture exports to this market accounted for 74% with 771 million USD, a sharp increase of 45%.

The impact of the IUU yellow card is more obvious this year, when the Russia-Ukraine conflict caused gasoline prices to skyrocket, fishermen in the coastal provinces could not push off. The caught raw materials are tightened even more and the EU market is even more deficient because of inadequate and difficult procedures for  verification and certification.

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Therefore, for caught seafood products, in the first 9 months of this year, the EU only accounted for 8% of the total export value. Compared to the main markets and groups of markets importing Vietnam's caught seafood, the EU market accounts for the lowest proportion.

By the end of the third quarter of this year, Vietnam's wild seafood exports have brought in over $3.4 billion, up 40% over the same period last year. In which, the leading market is Japan, accounting for 23% with 795 million USD, up 37% over the same period. The US market ranked second, accounting for over 19% with 655 million USD, 56% higher than the same period last year. China grew the most, more than 2 times with over 470 million USD and was the 3rd largest market. Korea also imported Vietnamese seafood more than the EU with nearly 380 million USD, up 20%.

Thus, although the value of seafood exports to the EU is still increasing, in both the seafood exports in general and marine products in particular, the EU's position is increasingly blurred and narrowed, mainly because of the influence of the IUU yellow card.

The main marine products exported to the EU market in the first 9 months of 2022 include tuna, squid, octopus, scallops, cod, and crabs. In general, the export value of these species is higher than in the same period last year.

The EU and many other markets such as the US and Japan are being hit by record inflation. Starting in the last months of the year, the prices of goods and living costs both increase, so consumers have to tighten their spending. Vietnam seafood exports to the EU market as well as some other major markets started to slow down from September and will continue to face more difficulties in the last months of the year. New import orders tend to be lower than every year, many orders are asked to delay delivery, creating obstacles  for exporters.

Seafood exports in the last 3 months of the year will reach about 2.3 billion USD, bringing the whole year's result to about 10.7 - 10.8 billion USD, and the target of 10 billion USD is expected to be achieved by the end of November. In which, exports to the EU market is expected to reach about 1.3 billion USD in 2022.

Compiled by Thuy Linh

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