In 2021, despite difficulties, even a long delay in aquaculture and exportation upon the social distancing regulation, Vietnam’s seafood industry achieved remarkable growth in production and exports. The following are the top 10 domestic events selected by Vietnam Fisheries Magazine.
- Sharp increase in production value
According to the Directorate of Fisheries, in 2021, the growth speed of production value of the fisheries industry reached 3.01% as compared to the previous year. The total output reached 8.73 million tons, up 1% from the last year, with the output of wild-caught species reaching 3.92 million tons, up 0.9%, and the output of aquacultured species reaching 4.8 million tons, up 1%.
- Strong exports
The export value of 2021 is estimated to reach USD 8.89 billion, up 5.7% as compared to the same period last year and exceeding 4.6% of the plan. If fish meal and feed are counted, the total export value of 2021 will reach USD 9.57%, up 7.6%.
- The year of important strategies
In 2021, the Government approved lots of important decisions related to the fisheries. They are: the Development Strategy of Vietnam’s Fisheries up to 2030, vision to 2045 approved on March 11, 2021 by the Government; the Project of developing marine aquaculture up to 2030, vision to 2045 approved on October 04, 2021; the Project of developing the seafood processing sector in the period of 2021-2030 approved on August 16, 2021; the National plan of preventing dangerous diseases in farmed species, period 2021-2030 approved on March 24, 2021; the Action plan of management of ocean plastic garbage, period 2020-2030 issued on February 05, 2021; and the Project of sustainable development of the aquaculture in the Mekong Delta up to 2030 approved on August 2021.
- VietShrimp 2021 a great success
The VietShrimp Aquaculture International Fair 2021 (VietShrimp 2021) was held in the Can Tho International Exhibition Fair Center (EFC) on April 14-16, 2021. It was a big and unique event of the fisheries industry that was held in the year of COVID-19 outbreak. With the target of “sustainable destination” for Vietnam’s Fisheries industry, VietShrimp 2021 attracted more than 200 booths of domestic and international enterprises and covered effective workshops such as: Overview of sustainable destination and solutions to sustainable aquaculture, and application of technique science in aquaculture.
- Seafood prices hit the bottom
At the beginning of Quarter I of 2021, prices of pangasius material declined sharply due to difficulties in domestic consumption and exportation. In mid-March, prices of pangasius in the Mekong Delta ranged between VND 18,000 and 18,500/kg, the lowest price in the last ten years. The price stayed the same for months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prices of shrimp material started to decrease from July 2021 and fell badly in August and September. As compared to May 2021, shrimp prices declined by VND 30,000 – 40,000/kg and the smaller shrimp were, the lower prices would be.
- Enterprises shut down because of COVID-19
According to VASEP, in August 2021, only 30% of enterprises could assure the “three on-site” regulation in production and processing, as many as 70% of them were forced to halt operation, resulting in serious damages due to the bank loan, debt to suppliers, and a huge switching out rate. The situation got better in the last months of the year.
- Feed prices increase by eight old
From the end of 2020 till October 2021, feed prices were adjusted to increase by eightfold by enterprises, up 15-30% on average. The skyrocket increase in feed prices resulted in an increase in production cost by 25-30%. That was attributed to the sharp increase in material for feed production in the world, driven by the Covid-19 pandemic; meanwhile, Vietnam totally depended on imported materials.
- “Maintain yellow card”
During the online conference with Vietnam’s institutes, The Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) of the European Commission pointed out the shortcomings of Vietnam in removing the yellow card. A representative of the Directorate of Fisheries of Vietnam said that “We have been trying to maintain the yellow card in 2021 and remove it in 2022-2023”. The country’s fisheries are facing the risk of being imposed a “red card” instead of the current yellow one; and this may result in an annual loss of USD 380 million.
- Exports of canned clam meat to the EU
On November 22, 2021, the first cargo of canned clam meat produced by Lenger Seafood Vietnam set forth to the EU. The exportation of clam meat affirmed that Vietnam assured the regulations of farming, producing, and processing.
- Penetrate small markets
China was not the largest destination of Vietnamese seafood in 2021. In the first three quarters of 2021, exports to the Chinese market accounted for only 11% of the total seafood exports of Vietnam. The fisheries industry witnessed the rise of small and potential markets. In August 2021, increases in sales were recorded in Mexico (72%), the Philippines (58%), Spain (48%), Egypt (38%) and Portugal (14%). That has paved a new direction for the development of Vietnam’s fisheries so as to avoid depending on big markets with unstable consumption.