China devours local seafood exports

Tuesday, Dec 24, 2013 08:00

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The Viet Nam Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) expects the value of Vietnamese seafood exports to China to increase strongly, touching US$800-900 million annually in the coming years.

Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP general secretary, said that in the past two to three years, China has promoted the import of Vietnamese seafood due to increasing demand in the Chinese market, especially for shrimp.

In the first 10 months of this year, the export value of Vietnamese seafood to China had a year-on-year increase of 37 per cent, totalling $462 million. It is expected to touch at least $500 million by the end of the year. The major seafood exports to China include shrimp and tra fish.

The value of shrimp exports to China has reached $150-200 million annually, the second highest after exports to Japan, which is the largest market for Vietnamese prawns.

Hoe said China has imported shrimp from Viet Nam every year, but this year, the country has added white-leg shrimp to the imports from Viet Nam.

Tra fish exports to China have great potential too, Hoe said. In October, the value of tra fish exports reached $180 million, 5 per cent of it coming from the Chinese market. One market that accounts for 5 per cent of the total monthly export value is not a small one, said Hoe. He said Viet Nam could export thousands of tonnes of tra fish to China if it continues to account for 5 per cent of the seafood export value every month.

However, the greatest challenge in exporting local seafood products to China is that Vietnamese products are exported through border trade.

Hoe said exports through border trade are not stable, and enterprises face risks in getting their payments. In addition, border trade exports do not reach a large number of customers in China.

Exports to the Chinese market should be through official trade and in accordance with trade quotas, he stated. For better success in the market, the enterprises should conduct market research in China and study how local seafood exports can reach large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Vietnamese exporters should promote the export of processed seafood products to increase the added value because currently, most of the local exports are either raw materials or unprocessed seafood, he explained. — VNS

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