Seafood export falls 36 pct in August

By Dy Tung   September 5, 2021 | 06:36 pm PT
Seafood export falls 36 pct in August
Fishermen carry a tuna in the central province of Khanh Hoa on January 23, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc
Vietnam’s seafood export turnovers stood at $520 million in August, down 36 percent against the same month last year due to Covid-19 outbreaks.

Last month, only 30-40 percent of seafood enterprises in the south ensured the stay-at-work mode, mobilizing 40-40 percent of employees to work, eat and sleep at factories, so their production capacity dropped 50-60 percent, said the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Processors (VASEP).

Meanwhile, material supply chains were broken or met with difficulty in transport. Seafood firms saw higher input costs and freight ones, and some exporters failed to deliver goods on time, losing clients to their foreign rivals.

However, seafood export turnovers in the first eight months of this year rose 6 percent on-year to $5.5 billion.

The VASEP forecast seafood export turnovers will decrease at least 20 percent on-year to $660 million in September, because the pandemic is still progressing complexly in the South, while vaccination among workers in industrial parks and export processing zones is limited.

Some southern provinces, including Soc Trang, Cau Mau, Bac Lieu and Kien Giang, which are major prawn producers and exporters, have contained the pandemic fairly well, so they are expected to export more prawns and shrimps in the remaining months of this year.

Major catfish producing and exporting provinces are still being hit hard by the pandemic, with over half of factories having to close down, so tra fish export is unlikely to bounce back in September.

HCMC and localities in the Mekong Delta, home to many squid, octopus, tuna processing plants, are still experiencing complex Covid-19 situations, so their seafood production and export are predicted to continue to be sluggish this month.

In the fourth quarter, when most of seafood processing workers will have been vaccinated against Covid-19, seafood export can recover slightly, reaching turnovers of $8.5-8.6 billion, the VASEP forecast.

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