With the current export growth and favourable factors from foreign markets, the country’s aquatic product exports in the fourth quarter of 2018 are expected to rake in higher export revenues than those in the same period last year, standing at US$2.5 billion.
According to VASEP, shipments of aquatic product have showed signs of recovery since August 2018 and enjoyed a growth rate of 8% in September, reaching US$847 million.
The figure brought the nation’s total earnings from aquatic product exports in the first nine months of the year to US$6.42 billion, up 6.4% year on year. This is a relatively high growth rate as Vietnam’s fishery sector has faced technical barriers and anti-dumping duties in several markets. It has also been imposed a “yellow card” warning by the European Commission after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
However, Vietnam’s aquatic products have been offered bigger opportunities to enter the US market after a series of hurdles were removed.
Recently, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) announced the final results of the 12th Period of Review (POR 12), lowering the anti-dumping tariff on shrimp imports from Vietnam. The POR 12 took place from February 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.
Specifically, shrimp exported by Sao Ta Foods JSC (FIMEX VN), the only mandatory respondent in the review, and over 30 other local shrimp exporters are subject to an anti-dumping duty of 4.58%.
This final rate is much lower than the preliminary rate of 25.39%, first announced by the DoC on March 8. It is also slightly lower than the duty was in the prior period.
Tran Van Linh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Thuan Phuoc Seafood and Trading Corporation, said the high anti-dumping tariff is one of the reasons behind a decline in Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the US since 2017. The US’s imposition of a lower anti-dumping duty would facilitate Vietnam’s shrimp exports to this market in the coming time, he said.
The US is currently the third largest import market of Vietnamese shrimps with a annual turnover of over US$600 million, accounting for 17% of the nation’s total shrimp export value.
In mid September, the DOC also reduced anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese tra and basa (pangasius) fish under its preliminary conclusion of the 14th period of review (POR14) for the period from August 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017.
Accordingly, the preliminary anti-dumping taxes on products of two mandatory respondents are US$0 per kilogramme, and US$1.37 per kilogramme. The tariff for voluntary respondents is US$0.41 per kilogramme, while the tax imposed on other Vietnamese exporters not examined as mandatory or voluntary respondents will be US$2.39 per kilogramme, lower than the final results of POR13.
Although the DOC is scheduled to announce the final results of POR14 in January 2019, its move to lower the anti-dumping tariffs is seen as a positive signal for Vietnamese catfish exporters.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) under the US Department of Agriculture recently proposed that Vietnam would be eligible to export catfish and other fish products to the US market.
VASEP Secretary General Truong Dinh Hoe said the FSIS’s move would help improve Vietnamese catfish’s prestige and image not only in the US market but also other import markets across the globe.