Fishery industry sees potential export recovery by year end

Monday, Nov 20, 2023 12:06

The domestic fishery industry will have an opportunity to recover exports in the fourth quarter of 2023. —VNA/VNS Photo

Việt Nam's seafood industry expects to see more export recovery through the end of this year as reduction of export slows down and there are advantages in key markets like the US.

Nguyễn Hoài Nam, deputy general secretary of the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said that the fishery industry is gradually showing positive performance as the decrease in export turnover in September and October has slowed down compared to the previous months.

According to the General Statistics Office, in September and October 2023, Việt Nam's seafood exports reached US$814 million and $850 million, down 4.9 per cent and 5.9 per cent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

Total seafood export turnover decreased year on year by 20.5 per cent to $7.45 billion in the first ten months of the year, and 22.6 per cent to $6.6 billion in the first nine months. This value in the first 6-7 months of 2023 decreased by 30-40 per cent.

Nam said that Việt Nam's main seafood export products, including shrimp, pangasius and tuna, all recorded less optimism in business in the first months of 2023.

The export of main products dropped because major markets such as CPTPP, US, Europe and China reduced demand. In the first two quarters of 2023, seafood export turnover to these markets decreased strongly by 30-45 per cent, the US market even decreased by up to 51 per cent.

However, in the US, a market accounting for a quarter of the world's seafood demand, the seafood inventory of importers and distributors has been reducing gradually in the second half of this year. Along with that, the consumer confidence index of the American people continues to improve.

Along with the above factors, year-end holidays Christmas and New Year, are expected to stimulate the market's import demand. Export orders for Việt Nam as well as other markets improved from the third quarter, said Đỗ Ngọc Hùng, Việt Nam’s Commercial Counsellor in the US.

On the other hand, in 2022, seafood only accounted for about 6 per cent of the US food structure, but now the consumption of this item is increasing because Americans are shifting to products that are beneficial to health.

Besides that, according to Hùng, on August 31, the US Department of Commerce issued the preliminary results of the 19th anti-dumping duty administrative review (POR19) by DOC on Việt Nam’s frozen tra fish fillets exported to the US for the period of August 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022. As a result, the tariffs imposed on Vietnamese pangasius are at US$0-0.14 per kilo.

Việt Nam’s tra fish production and the related food safety and hygiene control system have also received positive assessment from the US Food Safety and Inspection Service.

These factors have created positive momentum for pangasius exports to the US. Currently, Việt Nam's frozen pangasius fillets account for about 20 per cent of total white meat fish imports into the US.

Experts predict that the domestic fishery industry will probably see a recovery in exports in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 2024 with many advantages in exporting seafood products to the US market.

However, Việt Nam still faces many challenges as the US is an attractive market.

One of them is that the US still imposes anti-dumping taxes on Vietnamese frozen shrimp exported to the US since 2005.

Việt Nam still has many difficulties in building, protecting and exploiting brands of Vietnamese seafood products.

Excluding some large enterprises, other seafood enterprises are only distributing through intermediary and retail channels of Asian importers. They have not yet directly entered the US distribution system.

Long geographical distance and high transportation costs also make Việt Nam's seafood less competitive than rivals such as Ecuador and India.

Therefore, Hùng said that the businesses should promote exports of potential products such as squid and octopus, and sales on e-commerce channels. They should continue to increase deeply processed products and diversify products.

Meanwhile, for the EU market, Việt Nam's Commercial Counsellor in Belgium and the EU Trần Ngọc Quân said that EU seafood demand is expected to recover in the last months of 2023.

With the gradual recovery of markets, VASEP forecasts that seafood exports in the fourth quarter could reach about $2.4 billion, equivalent to the same period last year, bringing the total seafood export turnover for 2023 to $9 billion, 17 per cent lower than in 2022. — VNS

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