Maintaining the growth momentum of seafood exports

In the last 6 months of the year, with positive signals from the control of the Covid-19 pandemic and the agility and determination from the central to local levels, the seafood industry is forecast to maintain its growth.


In the first months of the year, although seafood production faced many difficulties, the whole industry made efforts to implement many synchronous and drastic measures. Therefore, seafood is still a bright spot and recorded growth in the agricultural, forestry and fishery sector.

According to a report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first 5 months of 2021, fishery output is estimated at 3,267.7 thousand tons, up 2.6% over the same period last year. Of which, aquaculture production reached 1,686.9 thousand tons, up 3.7%, fishing output reached 1,580.8 thousand tons, up 1.4% (sea fishing output reached 1,510.2 thousand tons, an increase of 1.5%). Especially with shrimp and pangasius, the main products of the industry, there are also positive signs in terms of both farming and export. With shrimp, despite the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are still many high-tech shrimp farming models that have been applied and brought about obvious efficiency, creating a stable and better quality of commercial shrimp supply. Pangasius production in the first half of the year showed a brighter picture when fish prices increased more than the same period last year, and the consumption market was more favorable.

Regarding the export situation, seafood turnover reached 3.2 billion USD, up 12%. In which, pangasius reached nearly 638 million USD, up nearly 15% over the same period last year. According to VASEP, in the first 5 months of the year, in addition to the positive growth of pangasius exports of some leading markets such as China – Hong, the US, the export value to potential markets such as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Thailand grew very strongly. Shrimp exports also recorded a growth in May of 25%, worth $ 375 million, after reaching over $ 300 million in April, up 23%. By the end of May, Vietnam’s shrimp exports reached 1.34 billion USD, up 14%. Compared with the same period, the export of seafood products of Vietnam is increasing this year and the mollusk products are the strongest. Specifically, the export value of squid and octopus products reached USD 216 million, up 13%; bivalve mollusks reached $48 million, up 44%.

In Cà Mau, a key locality for shrimp farming and export, although affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, according to the local Department of Industry and Trade, the situation of shrimp processing and export in the first 6 months of 2021 in the province reached a very positive result and increased sharply over the same period. Shrimp production is estimated at more than 107,000 tons, up 9.5%. The output of dead shrimp is estimated at 85,250 tons, up more than 21%; shrimp export turnover is estimated at 400 million USD, up 16.6%.

Maintaining growth

According to the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development, the current competitors to Vietnam’s shrimp, India and Thailand, are being adversely affected by the Covid-19 epidemic, making the supply and export capacity of other countries worse. In the coming time, shrimp export opportunities will increase sharply, if Vietnam continues to control the Covid-19 epidemic. For pangasius, the supply is gradually stabilizing, creating many advantages for pangasius exports to accelerate in the second and third quarters of 2021.

Commenting on the seafood trade in the last 6 months of the year, experts said that besides the advantages, there are also many obstacles. For example, the situation of pangasius consumption tends to improve, however, the difficulty is that the consumption process is passive, because of fierce competition from white meat fish and reduced demand, due to some countries increasing pangasius farming. The proof is that the price of raw pangasius has not changed significantly. Particularly for shrimp, it is different, this time the price of raw shrimp is increasing even though it is in the season. The reason is that shrimp processing enterprises have many consumption contracts. Basically, the shrimp has more advantages, but many difficulties are still going hand in hand. For example, the work of coding ponds and farming areas is very slow, making it difficult to trace the origin of the shipment. This is considered a “bottleneck” of the shrimp industry on its sustainable development path…

A representative of Cà Mau Department of Industry and Trade said that the province’s solution in the near future is to promote products online with distributors and foreign businesses, helping businesses find new customers, introduce products. In addition, the Provincial People’s Committee creates favorable conditions for businesses to participate in conferences to connect supply and demand, connect online organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and support businesses to join prestigious e-commerce platforms for export.

Mirae Asset’s report on Vietnam’s seafood export industry in June 2021 also shows many positive prospects. In particular, the supporting news updated in April – May 2021 includes the trend of vaccination on a large scale, leading to restaurants, cafes, and public services reopening in mid-May in the EU. Along with that, the trend of easing social distancing was also recorded in the US – Vietnam’s second-largest seafood importer. Mirae Asset said that this move is expected to help Vietnam’s seafood export value increase thanks to the recovery in goods turnover.


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