Seafood exports forecast to be US$8 billion by the year end: VASEP

Monday, 2017-08-28 10:52:14
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Seafood exports for the rest of the year are forecast to be positive but there are still challenges to the set target.
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NDO – Seafood exports in 2017 could reach US$8 billion for the whole year, up 14% over 2016, as forecast by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

At a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday, VASEP said that the above figure was based on export forecasts for a number of key commodities, including shrimp, tra fish, tuna, squid and octopus.

However, the association also raised concerns that despite positive export growth in the first seven months of 2017, the fisheries sector will need to be cautious in the last few months of the year as seafood exports will continue to face challenges, such as production uncertainty, input quality and barriers from import markets.

According to Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP General Secretary, after a slight growth of 5% in the first quarter of 2017, mainly thanks to seafood products such as tuna, squid and sea fishes, Vietnam’s seafood exports will continue to witness positive growth in the second quarter with a stronger increase boosted by exports of all major products.

With export growth of over 10% in the second quarter, and continuing to grow at 30% in July, the country’s total seafood export value in the first seven months this year reached US$4.4 billion, an increase of 17.3% over the same period last year.

Although forecasts suggest that export figures will continue to increase for the rest of the year, experts warn that, along with high antidumping duties, the US catfish inspection programme and competitive shrimp price pressure in export markets will be the difficulties faced by domestic fisheries sector that require concerted efforts to overcome in order to achieve the set target.

Experts also suggested that businesses continuously update information and consumption needs in order to have appropriate export plans and flexible adaptations to market fluctuations.

At the conference, VASEP also defined specific guidance regarding its focused programmes in the time ahead, such as policy advocacy activities to overcome trade barriers, brand developing activities for Vietnamese tra fish, international cooperation and promotion of domestic sales channels, in addition to facilitating value added products.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam emphasised the role of his ministry in assisting seafood enterprises. According to Deputy Minister Tam, the ministry is carrying out several tasks to concretise the Government’s policy on building a national brand for shrimp and tra fish; meanwhile, the ministry also consults with experts about the amendment of the Fisheries Law to better match reality in the new context.