Seafood enterprises increase the export of frozen products


Vietnamese seafood businesses have shifted their export from fresh to frozen products to meet the changing market trends of the of the world's consumers in the midst of Covid-19 outbreak.

After a serious decline in the first two months of the year, seafood export in the upcoming period is expected to continue facing many difficulties due to the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. Notably, the trend in seafood consumption has changed significantly, moving from fresh products to frozen products.

According to the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development): In the first two months of this year, seafood exports reached USD 932 million, a decrease of 15.9% compared to the same period in 2019. Japan, the United States, and Korea China and China are the top 4 import markets of Vietnam's seafood in the first month of 2020, accounting for 54.9% of total export value.

The Covid-19 outbreak has a great impact on the export of agricultural products in Vietnam in general and seafood in particular. Seafood export to all markets decreased sharply over the same period last year, in which the market whose export value dropped the most was China. Specifically, seafood export turnover to Japan accounted for 18.02% of total export turnover, a decrease of 28.16% over the same period in 2019; The U.S. accounted for 17.62%, a decrease of 26.34%; South Korea accounted for 10.27%, a decrease of 31.53%; China accounted for 8.94%, a decrease of 43.48%.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development estimates that in the upcoming period, the agriculture in general and the fisheries in particular will face many difficulties, typically the climate change impacts that occur right from the beginning of the year, causing drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta affecting aquaculture. In addition, the "yellow card" for seafood export issued by the European Commission (EC) has not been removed, etc. It is forecast that in the upcoming period, the Covid-19 outbreak will have a great impact on seafood export, especially the Chinese market.

Around the story of seafood export, the Import-Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) is of the opinion: The Covid-19 outbreak is spreading to many countries in the world, including many major seafood export markets of Vietnam such as South Korea, Italy, etc. This will have a certain impact on the prospects of seafood exports in the future. Notably, there will be changes in consumption and import trends in markets affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Specifically, importing of frozen seafood products that are convenient, easy to process at home will be higher than fresh seafood products. Canned seafood products will also be popular.

To date, the fisheries sector still sets a common goal for 2020 to strive to reach the total output of 8.5 million tons of aquatic products; the export value of fishery products is about USD 10 billion. 

The representative of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development emphasized that in the upcoming period, the sector will focus on developing key aquaculture products (black tiger shrimp, white leg shrimp, catfish) and those of high economic value in the direction of enhancing the commercial value and sustainable development; monitoring and firmly grasping the situation, weather changes and information on aquatic resources to promptly guide and mobilize boats for production. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will also direct localities to guide fishermen in promoting the application of scientific and technical advances, organizing fisheries catches in groups and teams in order to increase the time of catching in the sea, saving the cost of switching between fishing grounds, and improving catching efficiency; studying and proposing the Prime Minister for approval of a comprehensive program to ensure safety for people and fishing vessels engaged in fishery activities.


Kylie Nguyen

© 2019 Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development No. 2 Lang Ha street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi, Vietnam
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