Exports of cuttlefish and octopus to Japan showed good signs

Exports of Vietnamese cuttlefish and octopus reached over USD 240 million earlier this year, down 13% from the same period last year. Exports of cuttlefish and octopus alone to Japan reached USD 64 million, up 4%.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first six months of 2023, exports of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products totalled USD 24.59 billion, down 11.1% year on year. Seafood exports in the first six months reached USD 4.13 billion, down 27.4% from the first half of last year. Sales of key products sharply declined.

According to data by VASEP, exports of cuttlefish and octopus decreased more slightly than other key products amid the general downward trend of Vietnam’s seafood exports. A double-digit decrease was recorded in sales of cuttlefish and octopus to large markets, except for Japan. Accordingly, smaller markets such as Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan (China), and the Philippines reported good signs with a double-digit growth by 15-75%.

According to VASEP, the slump in export value was due to the impact of inflation and global economic recession which resulted in a low demand in markets. Besides, cuttlefish and octopus markets continued to face disadvantages in prices of wild-caught species and unfavorable weather. Due to the unremoved yellow card warning and unstable exploited output, prices of materials rose and competitiveness of businesses was reduced. 

In the first five months of 2023, the export value of cuttlefish decreased by 11% and the export value of octopus fell by 15% year on year. Processed cuttlefish was the least dropped product among cuttlefish and octopus products when sales declined by nearly 2%, reaching USD 21 million. As of May 2023, Vietnamese cuttlefish and octopus have penetrated 65 markets. Top ten destinations are Korea, Japan, Thailand, China and Hongkong (China), Italy, the US, Malaysia, Taiwan (China), Spain, and France.

Korea is the second biggest market of Vietnamese cuttlefish and octopus, giving it a share of 35% of Vietnam’s exports. Exports of these two species to Korea reached USD 84 million in the first five months, down 13%. Frozen cut octopus and frozen cleaned whole octopus are key products of Vietnam sold in this country.

Japan is the second biggest single market of Vietnam, giving it a share of 27%. Japan showed better signs for exports of cuttlefish and octopus than Korea. In the first five months of 2023, exports of cuttlefish and octopus to this country reached USD 64 million, up 4% year on year.

The wild-caught output of Japanese cuttlefish and octopus has been decreasing; and yet the local demand for convenience cuttlefish and octopus products has increased due to busy lifestyles which prevent people from cooking. These are factors impacting exports of Vietnamese cuttlefish and octopus to Japan.

Due to the downward trend and increasingly high inflation earlier this year, many Vietnamese exporters saw a slump in orders of cuttlefish and octopus; thus they had to work perfunctorily or close their factories. Quarter III is expected to be better. However, material source will be a threat as the wild-caught output in oceans are decreasing, bans for exploitation in some waters come into force, and flooding season is approaching. 



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