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Vietnam’s seafood exports in 2022: Chances and Challenges

Vietnam’s seafood exports in 2022: Chances and Challenges

Wednesday 12, 01 2022
Vietnam’s seafood exports are anticipating great growth since the seafood consumption demand per capita in the world is on an uptrend. The signed FTAs will also push the industry’s development in 2022. However, there still exist obstacles for Vietnam’s seafood industry.

Vietnam’s seafood exports with opportunities

Vietnam’s seafood exports will benefit from the global increase in seafood consumption per capita. Experts say that seafood exports in 2022 will continue to grow because the world demand for seafood is increasing by about 5% per year.

According to the Agricultural Outlook Report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the world's per capita seafood consumption is expected to be 21.2kg by 2030, up from an average of 20.5kg in 2018-2020.


Shrimp continues to be the factor driving the growth of Vietnam’s seafood exports. According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), Vietnam's shrimp exports value is forecast to increase by 10% compared to 2021 to 4.3 billion USD in 2022.

The US is the largest shrimp importing market for Vietnam. In the first 11 months of 2021, the US imported more than 726,000 tons of shrimp, up 7% over the same period in 2020, mainly from India, Ecuador, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

According to VASEP, shrimp exports to the US are expected to increase sharply in 2022 as Vietnam's transition to a state of flexible adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic will help the country gain market share in the US market.

In addition, the US doubled the anti-dumping duty on shrimp exported from India from 3% to 7.15% in November 2021, thereby enhancing the competitive advantage for other rival countries, including Vietnam.

Besides the US market, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) also helps Vietnam gain a competitive advantage in the EU in 2022. That creates opportunities for Vietnam to expand its share in the EU market.

India, Ecuador, and Vietnam are the three largest shrimp exporters to the EU. Compared to India, Vietnam benefits more from export tax.

According to the EVFTA, for shrimp exported from Vietnam to the EU, the tax rate for black tiger shrimp is 0%, and the tax on frozen whiteleg shrimp will gradually reduce to 0% until 2025.

Aside from shrimp, VASEP estimates that pangasius exports in 2022 will also reach the target of about 1.65 billion USD, equivalent to an increase of 7% compared to 2021.

According to the Directorate of Fisheries (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), in 2022, the fisheries sector will have many favorable factors for development. In which, the world economy is expected to grow again after the vaccination strategy for the whole population is implemented. In addition, there are advantages to be taken of the incentives of the CPTTP and EVFTA Agreements. At the same time, programs, schemes, and plans to implement the objectives and solutions of the Fisheries Development Strategy have been implemented synchronously and consistently from central to local levels; difficulties and inadequacies in legal regulations are reviewed, amended, and supplemented accordingly.


The Directorate of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that seafood export turnover in 2021 is estimated at 8.89 billion USD, up 5.7% compared to 2020 and 4.6% higher than planned.

Facing challenges

Along with the advantages, Vietnam’s seafood industry will also face many challenges. The situation of the COVID-19 pandemic is still complicated with the appearance of new variants such as Delta and Omicron. The trade between countries is still witnessing many difficulties, and international freight rates have yet to show any sign of decreasing.

Along with that is the increasing requirements for food safety and traceability of the markets, the EC's 'yellow card' has not been lifted, the labor is lacking in quantity and has not met the quality requirements.

seafood import markets

Furthermore, some of Vietnam's main seafood import markets have had changes in food safety certification. For example, in Korea, shrimp products exported to this market has to undergo strict heat treatment regulations to be exempt from inspections which take up a considerably long time. The heat treatment period significantly affects the products’ color and taste.

In addition, despite the initiative in production when enterprises signed large seafood export orders, according to experts' analysis, the control of the COVID-19 pandemic is uncertain. With the prolonged pressure coming from the cost of raw materials and high transportation costs, Vietnam’s export plan for the seafood industry in 2022 is considered modest.


Compiled by VietnamCredit

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