|According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, the tra fish sector faces competition groom China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh who each represent around 15-20 per cent of global production. — VNS Photo Van Chau
In the first 10 months of the year, exports were worth only $7.09 billion, down 2 per cent from the same period last year, as the prices of major export items like catfish and shrimp fell, Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary general of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), told a recent conference in Can Tho City.
Vietnam has this year set targets of achieving $4.2 billion in shrimp export value and $2.3 billion in tra fish export value, which accounts for nearly 38 per cent of the country's total export value.
However, from January to October this year, the shrimp exports reached only $2.78 billion, a year-on-year decrease of 6.4 per cent, while tra fish export value was only $1.64 billion, down 10 per cent, he said.
Aquaculture and fisheries output increased but prices fell by 20-25 per cent, with the prices of tra shipped to the US dropping by $2 per kilo, and shrimp by $1. Because of this, fisheries exports fell short of the targets, he said.
He said shrimp exports to other markets also dropped: they were down 20 per cent to the EU, 13 per cent to the Republic of Korea and 14 per cent to Hong Kong.
Tra fish exports to the US market tumbled, which was estimated at 45.8 per cent.
Other countries are becoming more and more successful in farming tra fish and shrimp so Vietnam is set to face tougher competition, he added.
With shrimp and catfish exports forecast to fall this year, VASEP plans to assist businesses by helping them overcome technical barriers, lobbying for more favourable policies and trade facilitation, and promoting Vietnamese seafood.
It urged businesses to adopt modern aquaculture technologies and focus on traceability of products and sustainable development.
This year, fisheries exports are expected to reach $8.9 billion, 1.4 per cent up from last year, according to VASEP.