Russia-Ukraine crisis cuts Vietnam's seafood exports

By Dat Nguyen   March 8, 2022 | 05:23 pm PT
Russia-Ukraine crisis cuts Vietnam's seafood exports
Fishermen transport tuna fish in central Khanh Hoa Province, January 15, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Ngoc
Vietnamese exporters of seafood to Russia and Ukraine are in trouble, with some reporting double-digit percentage declines as the military confrontation between the two countries continue.

Five Vietnamese catfish exporters to Russia have reported a year-on-year drop in export value by 29.8 percent to $2.18 million in January, according to data from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

This is a contrast to a 72.5 percent increase in exports value last year to Russia. Vietnam was Russia’s third biggest importer of catfish last year, behind Argentina and China.

"Since the beginning of the year, and especially after Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, export of catfish to this market has faced disruptions and challenges," VASEP said in a report.

Catfish exporters say that the 30 percent plunge in the ruble has made buyers unwilling to pay for their orders. Payment processes have also become difficult as a result of Western nations’ sanctions on Russia.

Shipping has also become a challenge with transport firms not accepting orders to Russia, given the high chances of having the goods seized on the way.

Vietnamese catfish exporters have stopped signing new orders to Russia even though importers still want to buy.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese shrimp exporters have reported a year-on-year decline of 23 percent in Russia exports value to $3.3 million from January 1 to February 15.

Exporters say there is no certainty that their shipment will be cleared to enter Russia and all transactions are facing difficulties.

Russia and Ukraine are among the top 20 export markets for Vietnamese tuna, but exporters say several shipments have been returned amid the military conflict, and they are trying to find new markets now.

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has entered its 13th day with no rapid end in sight despite the multitude of sanctions that Western countries have imposed on Moscow.

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