Seafood exports in the first 5 months increased by 14%

( After increasing 22% to 749 million USD in April 2021, Vietnam's seafood export continued to recover with a more optimistic increase in May, up 24% to nearly 790 million USD. . Accordingly, the cumulative export results in the first 5 months of the year were also better, up 14% to reach USD 3.27 billion.
Seafood exports in the first 5 months increased by 14
Seafood exports in the first 5 months increased by 14%

Exports of key commodities continue to increase

Shrimp exports increased by 25% in May to USD 375 million, after reaching over USD 300 million in April, up 23% compared to April 2020. By the end of May 2021, Vietnam's shrimp exports reached 1.34 billion USD, up 14%.

Pangasius exports are also recovering higher than expected with an increase of 26% to 134 million USD in May, after increasing by 25.8 million USD to 145 million USD in April. Pangasius export turnover in the first 5 months reached $623 million, up 12%.

By the end of May 2021, the export of marine products reached 1.3 billion USD, up 14.5% over the same period last year. In which, tuna exports accounted for 22% with 292 million USD, up 21% over the same period in 2020. In 2 months: April and May, tuna exports almost increased by 1.5 times over the same period last year, showing positive signals for the trend in the coming months. Exports of other marine fish accounted for 53% of marine product exports with US$698 million in the first 5 months, up 12%. The export of cephalopods increased by 11% to reach 212 million USD and also recovered well from March to now. The export of bivalve mollusks also increased sharply by 81% in May, contributing to bringing the results of the first 5 months of the year to nearly 49 million USD, up 45% over the same period last year.

US, EU and CPTPP markets dominate export growth

As assessed by VASEP in the  Report on Vietnam seafood Exports and  seafood trade newsletter, the supply of aquatic raw materials for processing and export is currently quite stable, especially for shrimp and pangasius. The source of raw materials for marine products is more difficult because Covid more or less affects the import of marine products. Therefore, the main factor determining the development of Vietnam's seafood exports in the current period is the import markets.

The rapid and widespread implementation of the Covid vaccination campaign along with the timely economic stimulus package of the US Government have provided the impetus for the country's seafood consumption demand to recover "rapidly" not only in the In the retail segment, but also in service channels, restaurants, hotels, entertainment... After a period of being "repressed" due to restrictions and distance due to Covid, the consumption demand of Americans "explodes" not only for items such as shrimp, tuna, and salmon, which are their preferences and consumption habits, but will also increase sharply for other aquatic species such as pangasius, squid, octopus, crabs, marine fish and bivalve mollusks such as clams, mussels, etc.

In particular, shrimp products are always in the top of the US seafood consumption, will definitely be the first choice of consumers when the US fully opens 50 states from May 20, 2021. The US is accounting for 21% of Vietnam's shrimp exports, so the recovery of this market is a lever for Vietnam's shrimp exports to bounce back stronger in 2021. Estimated shrimp exports to the US in the first 5 months of the year reached $270 million, an increase 21% over the same period last year.

Vietnam has a great opportunity to increase its market share in the US market when India is heavily affected by Covid and China has reduced exports due to the US-China trade war and its own Covid control regulations. However, the fact that two other "competitive" countries, Ecuador and Indonesia, are increasing shrimp exports to the US, along with the possibility that India may recover in the next few months are factors that Vietnamese shrimp businesses need to calculate in the future. export strategy to the US market because this is a large and the target market of these countries, when the Chinese market is "making difficulties" for Ecuadorian and Indian shrimp with tightening corona virus testing.

After shrimp, tuna will have the opportunity to increase exports to the US market, especially canned tuna because this is also a favorite seafood dish of Americans. The US is also leading Vietnam's tuna import markets, accounting for 42% of total exports. By the end of May, tuna exports to the US reached 130 million USD, up 17% over the same period last year.

Pangasius exports to the US are also recovering and breaking out, with an increase of 136% in April and an increase of about 200% in May to USD 33 million, bringing the results of the first 5 months of 2021 to USD 135 million, an increase 57% over the same period in 2020.

Along with the US, the EU market is also an expected destination of Vietnamese seafood exporters. Although the economic recovery of this market bloc is slower than that of the US, consumption demand is recovering clearly when the Covid-19 epidemic is being controlled gradually in the EU. European importers tend to be more interested in Vietnamese seafood suppliers with tariff advantages from the EVFTA agreement and stable source of raw materials. Vietnam's seafood exports to the EU in May continued to increase by 30% to nearly $95 million, after a sharp increase of 36% in April with $97 million. Accumulated exports in the first 5 months of the year to the EU reached over $380 million, up 15% over the same period last year. In which, shrimp still accounted for 50% with nearly 199 million USD, up 22% over the same period last year. While the export of shrimp and seafood products to the EU has had a positive trend, pangasius exports to the EU have not shown any signs of recovery, continuing to decline by over 25% compared to the same period last year.

Exports to markets with FTAs ​​with Vietnam in the past 2 years continued to increase sharply, of which exports to Australia increased by 65% ​​in the first 5 months of this year, to Canada by 12%, and to the UK by 17%. These markets all account for 3.3-4% of Vietnam's seafood export turnover, which will play a significant role in promoting Vietnam's seafood export growth in 2021 and the coming years.


Lê Hằng
Deputy Director of VASEP.PRO

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