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.  

Vietnam seafood exports to the US and CPTPP countries increased sharply

( According to Customs statistics, in January 2021, Vietnam's seafood exports reached over 606 million USD, up by 23.4% over the same period last year. One of the reasons for the increase in exports is the period of the Lunar New Year holiday coincided in January 2020. However, the 23.4% growth rate is considered a positive signal for Vietnam's seafood exports, which is reflected in the increase in export of pangasius (+ 21.7%), other marine fish (+ 46%), whiteleg shrimp (32.5%), and bivalve mollusk (+43%).
Vietnam seafood exports to the US and CPTPP countries increased sharply
Vietnam seafood exports to US and CPTPP countries increased 

For the export markets, the results in January also showed positive signals: to the US (+ 25.6%), Russia (+ 72%), Taiwan (+ 60%). In particular, exports to countries in the CPTPP agreement increased by 34%, of which to Australia skyrocketed 105%, to Japan rose 25%, to Mexico advanced 68%.

Exports to other markets in January 2021 all increased compared to the same period in 2020, but the growths was not considered positive because last year the Lunar New Year was in January.

In January 2021, some exported products saw outstanding growths, such as frozen pangasius fillet (HS code 030462) increased by 53%, which was the leading product in terms of export value, by code HS8, accounting for 17% of total seafood export value. Next is processed whiteleg shrimp (PTO, PDTO, butterfly ...), up by 47% and accounting for 9% of export value; Headless fresh/ frozen whiteleg shrimp, block, PTO, PDTO (HS code 03061721) increased by 39% and accounted for 7.4%, fish cake, surimi (HS code 0304990) increased by 58% and accounted for 6.8%; Fresh/frozen peeled white leg shrimp (HS code 03061722) increased by 56% and accounted for 5.2%.

Many other products with high growth (41-84%) such as: Frozen octopus (cut/whole); Frozen fillet/ portion fish (mackerel, barramundi, marlin, swordfish, seabass, saba, kingfish ...); Processed fish, seasoned dried fish, breaded fish ...; Frozen squid, sliced cuttlefish; Other processed fish (dried fish, fried fish, fish cake, fish sauce ...); Canned tuna in water; canned tuna in oil; Frozen boiled white clams and brown clams; Frozen crab/crab meat, seasoned fish, grilled fish of all kinds (saba, scad ...) …

In particular, there are a number of Vietnamese seafood products that are highly demanded in the context of the Covid epidemic, so the export value in January 2021 had a breaking growths, in which the exports of frozen whole/cut/butterfly pangasius (HS code 03032400) shoots up by 163%, dried squid HS code 03074921 sharply rose 118%; dried fish of all kinds HS code 03055990 skyrocketed 226%; Pasteurized crab meat, canned crab meat HS code 16051090 soared 242% …

However, there are a number of products that still had a sharp decrease in exports such as processed breaded twhiteleg and black tiger shrimp HS code 16052930 decreased by 63%; Fresh/frozen whole tiger prawn HS code 03061719 down by 19%; Frozen whole whiteleg shrimp HS code 03061719 decreased by 33%. The decline of these products is attributed to the decreased demand for high value processed products and is related to the tightening control and inspection on frozen goods imported into the Chinese market as this is the main market consuming Vietnam frozen whole shrimp products.

Vietnam exported seafood products in Jan 2021 (million USD)


Dec 2020 (Value)

Jan 2021

Change vs 2020 (%)

Shrimp (HS code 03 and 16)




in which:   - Whiteleg shrimp




                    - Black tiger shrimp




Pangasius (HS code 03 and 16)




Tuna (HS code 03  and 16)




in which:  - Tuna HS code 16




                  - Tuna HS code 03




Other fish (HS code 0301 to 0305 and 1604, except for tuna and pangasius)




Mollusks (HS code 0307 and 16)




in which:  - Cephalopod




                 - Bivalve mollusks




Crabs and other crustaceans (HS code 03 and 16)








Lê Hằng
Deputy Director of VASEP.PRO

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