VASEP forecasted that Chinese seafood imports will set a record high of more than USD1 billion in 2017.
China is emerging as a top buyer of Vietnamese seafood, just behind the U.S., the European Union and Japan, as many consumers can now afford to add more seafood in their daily meals.
Currently, China is buying more from other countries, according to FAO‘s statistics, while the body also stated that the country has transformed from the world’s top producer and exporter of seafood to the world’s biggest market for seafood in 2016. Last year, China’s shrimp imports from Vietnam, mostly unprocessed, increased by 23 percent to USD 431 million. China also surpassed the EU to become Vietnam’s second biggest buyer of pangasius catfish with total imports of USD 305 million, a 90-percent increase from 2015.
According to VASEP chairman, Truong Dinh Hoe, China is a large market but not without risks because it is not always easy to predict the long-term demand. However, he said imports will certainly increase this year and Vietnam will benefit from this trend.
Despite adverse weather conditions and an environmental disaster on the central coast of Vietnam, seafood exports, which are one of the country’s main sources of income, generated USD 7.1 billion in revenue last year, after sales to foreign markets fell slightly to USD 6.7 billion by 2015.