According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), after reaching a record of over 1.1 billion USD in April with a growth rate of over 50%, entering May, Vietnam’s seafood exports failed to maintain the hot growth rate. Nevertheless, seafood exports still reached the 1 billion USD mark, 27% higher than the same period last year.
In the first 5 months of 2022, Vietnam's seafood export turnover reached over 4.6 billion USD, up 42% over the same period in 2021.
VASEP explained that Vietnam's seafood exports in May slowed down compared to April mainly due to a decrease in shrimp exports.
Specifically, in May, shrimp exports only increased by 19% compared with 47% in April. By the end of May, shrimp exports were estimated at 1.8 billion USD, up 38% over the same period in 2021, and accounted for 39% of Vietnam's total seafood export turnover.
From the beginning of May, the weather tends to be unfavorable for farmed shrimp. The first rain of the season was earlier than usual, there were diseases affecting shrimp production, and the source of material shrimps was not as positive as in the first 4 months of the year. Therefore, it is forecasted that in the next few months, shrimp materials will be in short supply. In addition, shrimp demand in some of Vietnam's main import markets tends to slow down, so shrimp exports in the second and third quarters of 2022 are forecasted to grow slower than in the previous quarter.
Sharing the same trend, the export turnover of many of Vietnam’s seafood products, including squid, octopus, crabs, and mollusks with shells, still increased over the same period, but the increase was lower than in April 2022.
Pangasius contributes greatly to the growth of Vietnam's seafood export turnover because the import demand for pangasius in markets globally is still increasing. VASEP also said that although pangasius exports slowed down in May, compared to April, accumulated in the first 5 months of the year, pangasius exports still maintained a growth rate of nearly 90% high, and turnover reached over 1.2 billion USD.
The problems of inflation, food prices, and record-high seafood in the world are an advantage for Vietnam's pangasius exports this year. Therefore, VASEP forecasts that the import demand for pangasius in many regions will increase, especially in the US, Europe, and China.
However, many pangasius businesses are also concerned about the strict Covid-19 control regulations for Chinese imports. Although some big cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai have reopened, China remains steadfast in its "Zero Covid" policy. That will be an obstacle for exports to China.
Sharing the same trend, the export turnover of many seafood products, including squid, octopus, crabs, and mollusks with shells, although still increased over the same period, was lower than in April.
Tuna export still maintained a high growth rate of 41% in May 2022, reaching over 93 million USD. Generally, in the first 5 months of the year, tuna exports reached 461 million USD, up 58% over the same period in 2021.
According to the analysis of seafood market experts, the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to have a negative impact on economic sectors, including fishery. Therefore, the source of seafood raw materials for export processing continues to be a difficult problem for businesses in the coming time.
However, growth opportunities are opening up for Vietnam's seafood exports. Besides shrimp and other key products such as pangasius and tuna, VASEP forecasts that the market demand will still be large. In particular, seafood businesses are preparing to reconnect with trade promotion activities and organizations, including VASEP's Vietfish International Fisheries Fair in August 2022. The event is expected to attract more world importers to Vietnam's seafood, which is a lever to boost exports more strongly in the last months of this year.
Along with that, opportunities from free trade agreements, especially the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), are becoming a favorable factor for Vietnamese businesses to get competitive prices, boosting seafood exports.
Compiled by VietnamCredit