In Vietnam, the fishery sector plays an important role in the national economy, accounting for about 4-5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about 9-10% of national export revenue.

More than 4 millions of people working in the fishery and the growth in production have attributed to the fish exports. Thanks to strongly increase in many years, Vietnam ranks among the top ten seafood suppliers and its seafood products are exported to 170 markets in the world.

Shrimp, pangasius, tuna, squid and octopus are main seafood products exported by the country. In which, shrimp exports create about US$ 3.5 – 4 billion, make up 46-50% of the total seafood sales of Vietnam. Earnings from pangasius reached at US$ 1.7 – 1.8 billion (25% of the total) and exports from Tuna and Cephalopods are US$ 450 – 550 million for each.

Exports to the U.S, Japan, EU, China and South Korea make up 75% of Vietnam’s seafood sales to the wolrd.

5 advantages for Vietnam seafood exports:  

(1)  High commitment and participation from Government, Industry and companies for food safety, environment  and social responsibility;

(2)  Able to supply the big volume and safe quality and stable seafood products;

(3)  Meet all the customers’ requirements, incl. the vertical linkage (integration) for each species sector;

(4)  Vietnam is one in few countries in the world which has the good and stable labor resource; 

(5)  Vietnam has Agreements / FTAs with many countries and territories and has advantages both in product quality and im-ex tax.  

Seafood exports in the first 2 months of 2021 increased by 2% with a positive signal from pangasius

( After increasing by 23.4% in January 2021, reaching 606 million USD, with positive signals from pangasius, sea fish products (except tuna), whiteleg shrimp ... and exports to some key markets such as the US, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, Brazil rose sharply, Vietnam seafood exports in February 2021 fell 19% compared to the same period in 2020, estimated at over 405 million dollars. This negative growth is due to the fact that February this year coincides with the Lunar New Year holiday, therefore the production, fishing and processing time is less than in February 2020. Thus, accumulated to the end of February 2021, seafood exports reached over 1 billion USD, up by 2.2%.

Seafood export in the first 2 months of 2021 increased by 2 with a positive signal from pangasius

Positive signals from pangasius exports 

In the first 2 months of the year, Vietnam's seafood exports continued to be dominated by the consumption trend of the market in the context of a serious Covid epidemic. Accordingly, the demand is still leaning towards seafood products with reasonable prices, easy to process, long shelf life, suitable for processing and consumption at home such as: frozen small whiteleg shrimp, processed whiteleg shrimp, fish cake, surimi, marine fish fillet/portions, dried anchovies, dried squid, fish sauces ... Meanwhile, the export of frozen whole shrimp products, especially tiger shrimp, decreased due to the high price and tight control of imported frozen food products into the Chinese market. In addition, the Tet holiday also causes the source of raw materials to decline, especially capture items such as tuna, squid, octopus and marine shrimp ... causing the export value to decrease. Besides, export activities in the first 2 months of the year were also limited by high freight of sea transportation.

In February, shrimp export is estimated at nearly 160 million USD, down by 18% year-on-year, and by the end of February, it was over 380 million USD, down slightly by 0.8% year-on-year, mainly because black tiger shrimp exports decreased by nearly 40%. Whiteleg shrimp exports still accounted for an increasingly large proportion of 80% of total shrimp exports with about 304 million, an increase of about 14% over the same period last year while black tiger shrimp accounted for only 10% of the total at about 38 million USD, down by 48%.

Pangasius exports, after a continuous decline in 2020, showed positive signs earlier this year: exports in January increased by 22% reaching 123.5 million USD and in February dropped 17% reaching 90 million USD, bringing accumulated results  for 2 months to 214 million USD, up by 1.7% over the same period last year. In January 2021, the export of frozen pangasius fillets increased by 54%, whole pangasius increased by 162%. In addition to Chinese customers, Colombian importers also increased the purchase of whole Vietnamese pangasius. In January 2021, this country mainly imported whole pangasius, pangasius fillet only made up a small percentage.

Except for China and the EU, Vietnam's pangasius exports tended to recover strongly in all markets, in which there was a sharp increase in exports to the US (up by 51% in January 2021) and to CPTPP countries by 38% (to Mexico increased by 73%, to Australia by 45%, to Canada by 42% in January 2021). Exports to other markets (Brazil, Colombia, UK, Russia) all increased from 37-129% in January.

The total export of marine products in January increased by 31.4% to 264 million USD, in February decreased 21% to 156 million USD, bringing the export result in the first 2 months to nearly 420 million USD, up by 5,5%. In particular, exports of tuna and bivalve mollusks both decreased by 11%, cephalopod exports increased slightly by 0.8%, marine fish increased by 15%, while crab exports decreased by 26%.

According to the export momentum in the first 2 months of the year, it is forecasted that the export turnover of Vietnam seafood in March 2021 will reach about US $ 640 million, up by 1.5% over the same period in 2020. Exports to the US, EU and CPTPP countries will maintain the positive signal thanks to the high demand and the push from free trade agreements EVFTA and CPTPP.

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