Seafood sectors urged to diversify products

Exports of the two main seafood products of Việt Nam, pangasius and shrimp have declined sharply due to COVID-19 pandemic. Diversifying products and adapting quickly to market fluctuations will help create growth momentum and remove difficulties for seafood exports, experts have said.

According to VASEP, pangasius import demand in China, which accounts for 22.5 per cent of Việt Nam’s total export value, has recovered. However, other markets are still being affected by the pandemic. Pangasius exports to big markets would be unlikely to rise to positive growth rates compared to the same period last year till at least the end of the second quarter. This means fish farmers and businesses need to continue to balance farming, production and processing.

VASEP forecast that China, the US and EU would still be major export markets for pangasius in the next five years, accounting for 65% of the country’s total export value.

Trương Đình Hòe, VASEP’s general secretary said the quality and requirements of food safety exported into these markets are increasingly strict. However, pangasius has met all market requirements, such as recognition from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In addition, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) lowered anti-dumping duties on frozen pangasius fillets from Việt Nam in the 15th period of review (POR15).

The move was the DOC’s preliminary conclusion after investigating pangasius exported by certain Vietnamese firms from August 1, 2017, through July 31, 2018.

In addition, most big pangasius exporters such as Vĩnh Hoàn and Biển Đông have continued to enjoy zero tax. This has been a positive for local pangasius exporters in a difficult situation due to the pandemic.

In the first quarter of this year, shrimp exports saw relatively high growth. In April, there was a sharp decrease due to COVID-19, but there are still opportunities for Việt Nam’s shrimp and other seafood products to take advantage of post-pandemic.


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