According to statistics released by the Vietnam Department of Aquatic Products Processing and Development, seafood exports during the two-month period suffered an annual fall of 15.9% to US$932 million.
Furthermore, the negative impact of the COVID-19 epidemic has led to seafood exports to foreign markets decreasing sharply in comparison to the same period last year, of which several markets saw a plummet in export value, including China with drops of 43.48%, the Republic of Korea with a fall of 31.53%, the United States with a decrease of 26.34%, whilst those to Japan declined 28.16%.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reports the agricultural sector is poised to face a number of hurdles in the near future. Challenges include the impact of climate change that causes prolonged drought and saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta region, along with the “yellow card" given by the European Commission to the country’s seafood exports, which has yet to be removed.
Most notably, the complicated nature of developments surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic is anticipated to cause a large impact on the nation’s seafood exports, especially to China, the country’s main importer.
The MARD says despite these challenges, the incentives of new-generation free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement will serve to enhance the competitiveness of local seafood products within the global market.
In addition, the reduction of anti-dumping tax rates in the US market and the US Department of Agriculture’s equivalent recognition of food safety control systems with regards to the country’s catfish products will serve to help local seafood products make further inroads into the market.
In consideration of these factors, the fisheries sector aims to reach an export target of 8.5 million tonnes of aquatic products, raking in around US$10 billion during the course of the year in the process.