|Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the country may not hit its target of 10 billion USD in aquatic exports due to a drop in prices, fluctuations in supply and demand, and trade barriers.
VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said the adjusted supply-demand balance in 2019 has pulled aquatic products’ prices down compared to previous years.
For example, tra fish prices in the US market in 2019 fell to 2 USD per kilo from 4-5 USD per kilo in 2018, he said.
Hoe said that a number of anti-dumping lawsuits against Vietnam in the US, the main market for Vietnamese aquatic products, were also among the factors leading to the drop in revenue.
Meanwhile, the Chinese market has also seen a strong shift to official trade, resulting in changes in demand for aquatic products, thus affecting Vietnam’s shipments to the market.
At the same time, fierce competition from Indian and Indonesian shrimp exporters has caused difficulties for Vietnam as shrimp is the biggest earner of the country’s aquatic sector.
Export revenue from shrimp, one of the three major products of the sector besides tra fish and seafood, has suffered a sharp drop in 2019 to only 3.4 billion USD, far below the target of 4.2 billion USD.
However, Hoe said that when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement becomes effective in 2020, Vietnamese shrimp will see a brighter future in the European market. He advised domestic exporters to be well prepared to take advantage of the deal.
In the US market, anti-dumping issues are forecast to remain the major problem along with competition in price from India.
At the same time, trading methods in the Chinese market may be changed, thus Vietnamese firms should be prepared for the adjustment, said Hoe.
He noted that export revenue of tra fish is expected to stay stable at over 2 billion USD, which is short of the target of 2.4 billion USD for the whole year, while seafood is forecast to reach a record 3.6 billion USD.
Hoe also predicted that a target of 10 billion USD in aquatic export revenue is feasible for 2020. He said that shrimp prices in 2020 will face fewer difficulties from competition.