Mekong Delta seafood exports recover

Wednesday, Nov 11, 2020 09:05

Seafood exports from the Mekong Delta, especially shrimp, are recovering after a dip caused by COVID-19. – VNA Photo The Anh

Seafood exports by Mekong Delta provinces are picking up after a lull caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ca Mau, one of the largest shrimp producing provinces, struggled earlier this year, but exports have been improving recently due to authorities’ support and businesses’ own efforts.

Shrimp exports in the first 10 months of the year were worth over US$783 million, 6 per cent higher year-on-year.

Shrimp export by Bac Lieu Province topped $600 million, a 5 per cent increase.

Huynh Thanh Tan, director of the Ca Mau Seafood Processing and Service Joint Stock Company, said due to the pandemic prices of raw shrimp were down for a long time, and farmers cut back on production. Recent rains and rising tides also hit shrimp farming, he said.

Shrimp prices are recovering as more businesses are buying, and as a result farmers are resuming farming.

Supply is expected to recover by the start of next year.

Nguyen Viet Trung, head of the commerce management division at the Ca Mau Department of Industry and Trade, said the Europe – Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement would provide a good opportunity for shrimp exports to the EU.

Shark catfish prices had dropped to VND17,000 – 19,000 ($0.77) per kilo, but are now recovering, and Nguyen Thanh Binh, director of the Chau Thanh Seafood Production and Service Co-operative in Dong Thap Province, said processors were buying it now for exports at VND23,000, which gives farmers a profit.

Exports dropped by 28.6 per cent in the first nine months of the year, but they are expected to recover by the end of the year due to higher demand, especially during Christmas and New Year, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

Exporters too are focusing on increasing exports, improving product quality and diversifying their product range.

Delta provinces are helping businesses diversify their product portfolio process further to improve value added.

They are also helping businesses better understand and utilise free trade agreements that Viet Nam has signed with other countries and blocs, and helping farmers revive production quickly and improve quality.

Viet Nam’s seafood exports in the first 10 months were worth $6.87 billion, and full-year exports are expected to be $8.4 billion, a 2 per cent decrease from 2019. – VNS

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