According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the country's fisheries exports during January faced a sharp fall as they only hit US$556 million because of the Lunar New Year festival (Tet).
Of the figure, shrimp exports surged by 7 per cent to approximately US$251 million while pangasius exports plunged by 64 per cent to US$75 million. In addition, seafood exports fell by 22 per cent to US$230 million on-year.
With the COVID19 having little effect on the country’s seafood exports in January, the figures are set to different following Tet. This can be attributed to the negative impact that the COVID19 epidemic has had throughout February on a number of fields, including the seafood sector.
Moreover, fisheries exports to markets such as China have suffered heavy blows due to the epidemic. According to the VASEP, exports through border gates currently account for 20 per cent of the total seafood export turnover to the Chinese market.
With the closure of these border gates because of COVID19, it could reduce the country’s seafood exports to China by at least 20 per cent during the first three months of the year.
These issues are set to see seafood exports to China be reduced by at least 40 per cent in the first quarter of the year in comparison with the fourth quarter of 2019, reaching approximately US$265 million.
Despite these factors, seafood exports during the subsequent quarters have the potential of bouncing back, with the entire year’s exports to China likely to reach US$1.5 billion, a slight increase of 5 per cent compared to last year.
If this figure can be achieved, the country’s total seafood export turnover will still be able to maintain a growth of 8 per cent, reaching US$9.25 billion for the year.