Seafood exports in March 2022 are estimated to reach USD 920 million, remaining a 25% growth, regardless of the war in Ukraine disrupting the seafood exportation to Russia and Ukraine from February.
After an increase in January and February by 44% and 62% respectively, seafood exports in January grew more slowly in March but were remarkably higher in terms of revenue than the last two months. By the end of March 2022, the total exported seafood reached USD 2.4 billion, up 40% from the same period last year.
Such good results were attributed to the fact that the pangasius sector recovered sharply, up 80% with a worth of USD 261 million in March being achieved and positive signs being recorded in major markets such as the US, China, and the EU. By the end of March 2022, the accumulated value of exported pangasius is estimated to reach USD 646 million, up 88% from the same period last year. The pangasius is retaining its position among exported seafood products, accounting for 27% of the total seafood export value.
Shrimp accounted for the highest density, 37%, bringing in more than USD 345 million worth in march, up 21% from the same period last year. The total value of shrimp exports reached USD 900 million in quarter I, up 37% as compared to the same period last year. The increasing demand for shrimps in most markets and the rise in export prices resulted in a noticeable increase in sales of shrimps as compared to previous years.
The skyrocketing prices of fuel caused fishing vessels to stay idle or to be sold. The processing of aquatic products, which has been facing difficulties, continues to face material insufficiency. Thus, seafood exports inched up by 3% in March, reaching USD 312 million. Exports of tuna, cuttlefish, and octopus remained the positive growth by 20%, but exports of other marine species decreased by 14%.
The total export value of aquatic products is estimated to reach USD 878 million in quarter I, up 20% thanks to a considerable growth in the first two months of the year. Tuna exports reached USD 234 million, up 55%; cuttlefish and octopus exports reached 35%, reaching USD 156 million. Exports of mollusks and crabs reached USD 30 million and USD 54 million respectively, up 23% and 70% as compared to quarter I of 2020.
Seafood exports to major markets remained impressive growth in March 2022, with exports to the US increasing by 42%, to China increasing 77%, to the EU increasing 37%, and to Korea increasing 23%. However, exports to Japan were just equal to the same period last year.
The ongoing tension between Russia and Ukraine resulted in a decrease by 86% in seafood exports to Russia to USD 2.7 million worth and an entirely terminated exportation to Ukraine in March. Seafood exports to Ukraine reached USD 4.5 million in the first two months of the year. Russia accounts for less than 2% of Vietnam’s total exported seafood volume and Ukraine accounts for 0.3%.
Seafood exports will continue to be affected by the Russia – Ukraine war in April, but will grow in major markets such as the US and the EU when trade and commercial promotion activities have returned to normal and Vietnamese seafood enterprises will have opportunities to participate in international seafood exhibitions so as to connect and expand their customers.
Seafood exports are forecasted to remain at 25% growth in April, reaching USD 934 million. Exports of marine fishes may decrease by 15%, but an increase in sales of 80% will be recorded in sales of pangasius, 20% in shrimps, 18% in tuna, and 25% in cuttlefish and octopus.