Vietnam boosts its exports of cuttlefish to Korea

Korea has been the biggest destination of Vietnamese octopus and cuttlefish, accounting for 39.9% of the total of these species going into other markets. The fourth quarter of 2019 brought in USD 61.4 million worth of octopus and cuttlefish exports to Korea, down nearly 32% compared to the same period 2018.

Vietnam took in USD 230 million from exports of cuttlefish and octopus to the Korean market in 2019, down 14.8% from the previous year. After consecutive four-month growth early 2019, exports of these species to Korea started decreasing from May till the end of the year.

The fall in exporting price and unstable demand badly affected Vietnam’s exports of cuttlefish and octopus to Korea in 2019. Vietnam has benefited from the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA), supporting exports of these species going into the Korean market.

Among products from cuttlefish and octopus exported to Korea, octopus exports accounted for 75.6% and cuttlefish exports was 24.4%. In 2019, only exports of processed cuttlefish were recorded to increase by 35.7% while other products experienced a drop with the sharpest fall recorded in processed octopus. The dried/grilled cuttlefish and alive/fresh/frozen cuttlefish decreased by 17.3% and 18.7% respectively compared to 2018.

The vast majority of Vietnamese cuttlefish and octopus products exported to Korea includes peeled dried cuttlefish, frozen cleaned cuttlefish, frozen sushi cuttlefish, frozen cleaned fillet cuttlefish, frozen cleaned whole octopus, iced cut octopus, frozen processed cuttlefish.

Vietnam is benefitting a 0% tariff imposed on alive/fresh octopus products and frozen ones (HS030751 and HS030759). Dried/salted/alive/fresh/frozen octopus also account for the highest density of the total of cuttlefish and octopus products exported to Korea.

The export value of cuttlefish and octopus to Korea reached USD 345.8 million in 2019, down 8.7% from the previous year. China is the top supplier of cuttlefish and octopus to Korea, accounting for 60% of a total of Korea’s import value of these species. The third is Vietnam, accounting for 11%. Among top five suppliers of these species to Korea in 2019, only the Philippines saw an increase in export value, the other four countries experienced a decrease, with the sharpest drop 35% recorded in Thailand.


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