Seafood exporters situation more dire than during Covid

By Duc Minh   June 19, 2023 | 07:14 pm PT
Seafood exporters situation more dire than during Covid
Fishermen carry a tuna in central Khanh Hoa Province. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc
Seafood exporters are seeing orders plummet and facing even greater difficulties than during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the first five months of this year their exports fell by 28% to $3.37 billion and companies saw a decline of 20-50% in export orders, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Prices too have been falling due to the low demand, making it harder for companies to repay bank loans and manage other expenses.

A severe shortage of raw fish and shrimp is expected in early 2024, VASEP said.

Seafood exports this year are projected to be $9 billion, or nearly $2 billion less than last year.

To mitigate the industry’s problems, VASEP has called on the government to reduce bank lending interest rates and make credit more accessible to it.

It wants the interest rates on U.S. dollar loans to be reduced to below 4% and on dong loans to under 7%.

It has demanded a rollover of loans by four to six months and a special credit package for small seafood producers.

It has also proposed that a VND10-trillion stimulus package for the Mekong Delta region that is under consideration should be disbursed early so that exporters can start stockpiling raw materials early.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had instructed the State Bank of Vietnam in April to consider such a package.

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