(seafood. vasep.com.vn) Thanks to the growth of nearly 17% in March with over 735 million USD, the seafood export turnover of the whole country in the first quarter of 2021 reached 1.7 billion USD, up nearly 7% over the same period. period last year. It is forecasted that seafood export in the second quarter will continue to grow 10% to about 2.1 billion USD.
In which, shrimp continued to grow positively by 10% to 980 million USD. Seafood exports in the second quarter were estimated at US $ 816 million, up 9.6%, of which tuna exports increased by 9%, other fish increased by 11%, octopus squid increased by 8% and molluscum by 9%.
Market movements in the Covid context
The progress of exporting shrimp and pangasius will depend mainly on market fluctuations. For shrimp, there will be better signals because the demand for shrimp in the retail segment in major markets such as the US and the EU continues to increase. The large-scale deployment of vaccination in these markets helps people gradually feel secure, returning to tourism, entertainment and public activities, so the demand will recover in the restaurant, hotel and service sector.
The US market will continue to be a bright spot for Vietnamese seafood, with higher demand foreseen for both shrimp, pangasius, tuna and other seafood. Especially for shrimp, Vietnam will have more opportunities in the US when India, the largest supplier in this market, is facing production difficulties due to the Covid epidemic.
With the EU market, Vietnamese businesses hope more with shrimp, mainly white shrimp, because compared to the US, the EU countries still recover more slowly. Moreover, the nature of the EU market in recent years has not seen much breakthrough in shrimp demand. Therefore, in the second quarter and the following months, shrimp exports to the EU are forecasted to recover only slightly, mainly in markets in Spain, the Netherlands, and Italy.
The picture of pangasius exports in the near future depends mainly on the US and China markets, because from a negative 30% growth in the first quarter, exports to the EU cannot rise in the second quarter, when the signals of recovery in food service industry demand are not clear. The US is increasing imports of pangasius from Vietnam and this trend will continue in the coming months. The large enterprises exporting pangasius to the US are stable and do not have any problems with the market, so they will continue to promote their exports to the market.
For Japan, the weakening economy, now covered by the new Covid wave, will be more gloomy, reducing consumer demand. Japan's demand for seafood imports for domestic consumption for both retail channels, services, restaurants, and hotels will certainly not increase in the coming time or even decrease. Japan will increase trade in seafood with Vietnamese companies in the form of outsourcing and processing because Vietnam has stable human resources and better control of Covid compared to countries with processing industries.
The Chinese market tightens the measures to control coronavirus from the last months of 2020 to now, affecting the activities of the importers, processing and exporting of this country and of course, reducing seafood imports from countries including Vietnam. Maybe with the intention of both controlling the epidemic and enticing Chinese exporters back to serve the domestic market, China will continue to tightly control food imports including frozen seafood, especially when Covid is currently booming in Asian countries. Therefore, it is difficult for Vietnam's seafood export to China to strongly recover in the coming time. However, this will be an opportunity for Vietnam to increase exports to other major markets, gaining market share from China.
The Korean market is also showing good signs of recovery, the economy is growing positively, so seafood trade with Korean businesses will be more active in the coming time. It is forecasted that octopus and surimi exports to this market will continue to increase and Korea will maintain the No. 1 position for both these product lines of Vietnam.
Other markets such as Australia, Canada, UK, and Russia will continue to be new bright spots in the picture of seafood exports of Vietnam in the second quarter and the second half of the year because demand is increasing and there are no uncertainties or market barriers.