Any bright spots for seafood exports in the second half of the year?

( Looking at the seafood export value month by month from the beginning of the year, it’s clear that there is a gradual recovery, the next month is higher than the previous month. However, accumulated in the first 6 months, Vietnam's seafood export is still 27% lower than the same period last year, reaching nearly 4.2 billion USD.

Particularly in June 2023, seafood export was estimated at nearly 800 million USD, down 21%. In which, shrimp exports were estimated at 341 million USD, the highest level so far this year, down 18% over the same period - this is also the lowest decrease since the beginning of the year. In H1 2023, shrimp exports reached nearly 1.6 billion USD, 31% lower than in the first half of 2022.

Pangasius exports in June were still 26% lower than the same period last year, reaching about 156 million USD. Accumulated in the first 6 months, pangasius exports reached over 885 million USD, 38% lower than the same period last year.

Besides difficulties from poor consumption demand, shrimp and pangasius producers and exporters suffered losses in profits because of high prices of feed, seed and input costs while selling prices were low. Even though they have lowered prices,  decline in order leads to a large inventory, adding up more additional costs.

The more negative growth result in June showed that exports of tuna and other marine products are severely damaged due to the pressure of shortage of raw material and the increasingly strict import regulation in main import markets, typically the EU, regarding food safety and anti-IUU fishing. 

Accordingly, tuna exports in June decreased by 29%, reaching 64 million USD, accumulated in the first half of the year decreased by 31% to over 380 million USD.  Although exports of other marine fishes in May showed a slightly increase, exports in June continued to decrease by 17%, reaching 157 million USD. Exports of other products such as cephalopods, crabs, shell molluscs, etc in June  also decreased by 17-30% over the same period.

Chú thích ảnh

Vietnam seafood exports in the first 6 months of 2023

Highlights and forecasts

In general, the demand for seafood in major import markets like the US, EU, China, Japan, etc is influenced by two main factors: inflation and inventory. As the markets gradually clear their inventories, it is expected that demand will increase again in the second half of the year. However, a persistent issue that could impede the recovery of seafood consumption and import demand in the US and EU is inflation. Despite the passage of time, inflation has not shown any signs of cooling down in many markets. This could act as a barrier, preventing the full rebound of seafood consumption in these regions.

However, some markets such as Japan, Korea, Australia can be  promising destinations for Vietnam's strong products: deep-processed goods with high added value. These products in these markets have an advantage over competitors.  

Besides, some Southeast Asian markets are also considered as potential destinations because of their more stable economies, lower inflation, geographical advantages and preferential tariffs under FTAs.

It is forecasted that seafood exports will gradually recover in the coming months thanks to more positive signals in consumer markets. Inventory is gradually decreasing and the order will increase soon to meet the demand for year-end and festival occasions.

Compiled by Thuy Linh

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