According to statistics of the General Department of Customs, in the first half of August 2021, Vietnam’s seafood exports reached $263.8 million, down 41% compared to the second half of July 2021 and down 30% over the same period in 2020. Accumulated from the beginning of the year to August 15, 2021, Vietnam’s seafood export turnover reached US 5.2 billion, up 9.8%.
Vietnam’s seafood exports in the first half of August 2021 were strongly affected when the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, forcing Ho Chi Minh City and many southern provinces and cities to apply Directive 16 of the Government. affect production and export activities. Previously, in July 2021, the country’s seafood export reached US 853.77 million, up 0.56% compared to June 2021 and up 7.88% compared to July 2020. Generally, in the first 7 months of 2021, Vietnam’s seafood exports reached US 4.977 billion, up 13.27%, accounting for 2.67% of Vietnam’s total export value.
In July 2021, seafood exports to the US and many European countries continued to increase compared to the same period in 2020; while exports to the Asian region increased or decreased. Generally, in the first 7 months of 2021, seafood exports to most major markets increased over the same period in 2020, except for exports to China, which decreased by 11.6%. In July and the first 7 months of 2021, seafood exports to the US and EU markets increased sharply because of the strong demand in the market, while other exporting countries suffered heavy losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, the EVFTA Agreement is also a factor supporting seafood exports to the EU market.
However, in August and September 2021, Vietnam’s seafood exports will slow down due to the outbreak in the southern provinces affecting production and export activities of enterprises. Due to the strong spread of the epidemic and complicated developments, local agencies recommend that businesses only maintain production if they can meet the requirements of “3 places” and “1 route, 2 destinations”. However, after a period of implementation, the above requirements cause a lot of difficulties for production and operation.
Regarding the market, some domestic key products such as shrimp and pangasius also recorded a decline. According to statistics from the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development, during the week (from August 16 to 20), the domestic pangasius raw material market was still slow due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, limited transactions. The raw material fishing activities of enterprises are facing difficulties because localities are implementing distance, large enterprises maintain “3 on-site” production, mainly in warehouses and at low capacity due to limited manpower availability and raw materials. In An Giang, Cần Thơ, most of the outsourcing companies going to the Chinese market have temporarily stopped because they cannot catch more raw fish and cannot afford to organize “3 on-site” production. The price is kept at the common level in the range of 21,500 – 22,000 VND/kg for fish size 850 – 1.1 kg. The market for pangasius fingerlings in the Mekong Delta is temporarily stagnating, and households raising pangasius fingerlings after exporting their ponds last month also temporarily suspended their ponds.
The raw shrimp market in the Mekong Delta provinces in the week of August 16-20 is still affected by the COVID-19 epidemic; Low prices are a concern of both shrimp farmers as well as shrimp buyers. Enterprises in the industry still face many difficulties due to the epidemic right from the production stage of raw materials. After more than 4 weeks of implementing Directive 16, shrimp production, business and export activities at many processing plants in the Mekong Delta were turned upside down, some units were forced to close due to failure to implement “3 on the spot” or a suspected case of COVID-19.