Vietnam’s seafood exports could be left fishing in 2017

By VnExpress   January 20, 2017 | 02:06 am PT
Vietnam’s seafood exports could be left fishing in 2017
Employees work at Cafatex shrimp and Pangasius Catfish factory in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Environmental disasters and slowing global demand have left the industry all at sea.

Slowing demand in major markets could restrict Vietnam’s seafood exports in 2017, despite the industry seeing a breathtaking result in 2016.

Data from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) showed that the country collected $7 billion from seafood exports in 2016, rising 7.4 percent from the year before.

The turbulent weather that hit the Mekong Delta region in the first quarter of 2016, coupled with an environmental disaster along 200 kilometers of Vietnam’s central coastline last April, affected exports of marine products in the first half 2016, but failed to stunt momentum for the whole year.

Shrimp exports, after standing at a mere volume of 190,000 tons from January-June, grew to more than 460,000 tons in the last six months, fetching Vietnam $3.13 billion in total.

Another key export item, catfish, also recorded a 7 percent increase in export revenue.

VASEP forecast that in 2017, exports will grow at a slower rate than in 2016.

The fall in import demands from major markets like the U.S., the E.U., and Japan will lower the export revenue growth rate to 5 percent this year, VASEP said.

The downturn in Japan’s economy and political issues in the E.U will reduce their demand for seafood imports, said VASEP, which forecasts Vietnam’s export revenue from the two markets will grow by 2 percent and one percent, respectively.

Saltwater intrusion and high prices of raw materials will also confront local seafood enterprises in 2017, according to Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP.

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Vietnamese shrimp exports under more toxic scrutiny

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