Friday , July 12 2024

Seafood exports face many challenges this year

Việt Nam aims to produce 1.7 million tonnes of commercial tra fish and earn $2 billion from exporting the product in 2024. — Photo chinhphu.vn

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has lowered its target for seafood export value for 2024 to US$9.5 billion from its previous expectation of $10 billion due to many challenges.

The fisheries sector is expected to an output of 9.22 million tonnes of seafood from an aquaculture area of 1.3 million hectares this year.

According to the Department of Fisheries, the seafood export value in 2023 was estimated to reach $9.2 billion, or 92 per cent of the plan, down 8 per cent compared to 2022.

Of this year’s export value, about $3.45 billion was from shrimp, $1.9 billion from pangasius, $900 million from tuna, and $800 million from mollusk.

Total seafood export output in 2023 was estimated at 9.05 million tonnes, an increase of 2 per cent compared to 2022. Exploited seafood output reached 3.68 million tonnes, equal to 2022, while aquaculture output was more than 5.4 million tonnes, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to 2022.

The fishery sector’s current problems include traceability of seafood to combat illegal exploitation and ensure food safety on fishing vessels and fishing ports.

In addition, seafood exports also face many other barriers such as animal welfare and carbon certificates to ensure environmental safety during the production process of products exported to Europe and the US.

From 2024, the Department of Fisheries will continue to develop marine and lake-bed aquaculture and carry out scientific and technological solutions to increase the value of processed seafood products.

Besides that, the world economy has recovered slowly, while the prices of some input products for aquaculture development and logistics costs have remained high, putting pressure on production.

These challenges impacted Việt Nam’s seafood processing and export activities, causing difficulties for the seafood industry this year.

Meanwhile, the European Commission continues to maintain a yellow card warning for Việt Nam’s seafood. Therefore, in 2024, the task of production and business will become more difficult.

Trần Đình Luân, director of the Department of Fisheries, said seafood export revenue decreased in 2023 as the fisheries industry faced challenges such as a lack of standards and regulations for environmental monitoring, and inadequate infrastructure in farming areas. The efficiency of catching activities was still low. Consumption demand decreased in most markets, causing the decrease in export turnover.

Vương Thị Oanh, an official from the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said although the fisheries industry shows signs of recovery, there are still many difficulties in 2024.

Specifically, China, the US, Europe, and Japan were expected to recover from the last months of 2023 because those markets prepare food for festivals at the year end and the new year, while importers’ inventories are low. Việt Nam is a potential supplier to those markets.

However, competition with rivals also increased, such as with Thailand, Indonesia and China, for processed products and with Ecuador for regular products.

Tra fish exports

Việt Nam aims to produce 1.7 million tonnes of commercial tra fish and earn $2 billion from exporting the products in 2024, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến.

To that end, the fishery sector needs to be ready with plans to better respond to an increasingly competitive market, and stricter regulations and technical barriers of importing countries, Tiến said.

Although Việt Nam’s tra fish exports in 2023 faced difficulties and lower consumption demand, especially from the European and Chinese markets, there will be many positive signs for the tra fish industry in 2024.

Lê Hằng, communications director of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said despite a decrease in market share in certain markets, the export of tra fish is showing more positive signs in some markets such as China, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and the UK.

The tra fish export value reached an estimated $1.8 billion last year, down 27 per cent compared to the figure of 2022, according to the General Department of Customs.

However, there remains great demand for Vietnamese tra fish in many markets, especially for deeply-processed products, Hằng said.

The US has been among the top markets consuming the most Vietnamese tra fish products.

Demand for tra fish products has also seen a resurgence in the European Union (EU) market, which hopes to be a bright spot for Việt Nam’s exports this year.

As one of the traditional import markets for Vietnamese tra fish, China is expected to witness a high growth in tra fish imports in 2024. In recent years, this market has consistently ranked among the top three largest importers of tra fish products, following the US and Japan.

The product also has an advantage in other markets such as Europe and Algeria. Recently, the Vietnam Trade Office in Algeria coordinated with the Carrefour supermarket system in the country to organise an activity to introduce and promote Vietnamese products, including coffee and tra fish fillets. VNS

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