Despite huge challenges, the seafood sector in 2022 posted a new record in export value of US$11 billion, up 24 per cent year-on-year and 22 per cent higher than the year’s target of USD 9 billion.
Of the amount, shrimp exports hit a record USD 4.3 billion, pangasius exports reached USD 2.4 billion, and tuna exports were $1 billion.
Vietnam’s largest seafood export markets are the US, Japan, China and the EU. Seafood exports to the US reached more than USD 2.1 billion last year. Meanwhile, exports to China hit a record USD 1.8 billion, up 57 per cent year-on-year. Exports to the EU and South Korea brought in USD 1.3 billion and USD 950 million, respectively. Seafood exports to ASEAN countries reached USD 767 million, up 27 per cent year-on-year.
According to VASEP, inflation is forecast to greatly affect consumer sectors globally, reducing seafood exports in the first quarter of 2023. The seafood industry will also face tough competition from competitors that offer lower costs and prices such as Ecuador and India.
Export orders have fallen sharply, and many seafood processing enterprises have not received contracts for the first quarter of 2023. Market demand will not recover until at least the second quarter or the second half of 2023.
Seafood businesses are also facing problems accessing loans. Many large enterprises with large capital needs can not afford to purchase aquatic products and materials for production.
Some must operate at half capacity, affecting the industry’s growth and exports. Some businesses have had to stop construction of their seafood production facilities.