Vietnamese favor Canadian lobsters, snow crabs

By Thi Ha   February 25, 2023 | 11:51 pm PT
Vietnamese favor Canadian lobsters, snow crabs
A Canadian lobster at a seafood shop in HCMC. Photo by Hoang Yen
Vietnam spent US$65 million importing Canadian seafood, mainly lobsters and snow cabs last year, doubling 2021 imports and trebling 2020.

Among Southeast Asian countries, Vietnam was Canadian’s biggest seafood importer, Steve Craig, Minister of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, said at a recent business networking event in HCMC.

Although Vietnam is the world’s fourth largest seafood exporter with an annual turnover of $11 billion, it is still a fertile ground for Canadian products, he said, noting that Vietnamese are among the world’s top seafood consumers.

Tran Van Truong, CEO of Royal Seafood chain, an official importer of Canadian seafood in large quantities, said the seafood is popular in Vietnam because their prices are always stable, and often 5-20%, sometimes 40%, lower than imports other countries.

Currently in the Vietnamese market, Canadian lobsters are priced at VND1.4 million ($59.3) per kilogram, and Australian lobsters at VND2.4 million. The price of cod, oysters and geoducks imported from Canada are also lower.

Between 50 and 60 Vietnamese firms directly import Canadian seafood, and the number of Canadian seafood shops in Vietnam is on the rise.

Canada will create more favorable conditions for Canadian and Vietnamese seafood to penetrate more deeply into each other’s markets, Craig said, stating that the Vietnamese market is very promising.

Overall, bilateral trade between Canada and Vietnam was $14 billion last year, he said, noting that Vietnam is Canada’s biggest trading partner in Southeast Asia.

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