HCM CITY — Despite likely hurdles, export of marine products is expected to rise by 17 per cent to US$3.5 billion this year, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep).
According to Nguyễn Thị Thu Sắc, VASEP’s deputy chairwoman and chairwoman of its marine products committee, tuna exports still have room to grow thanks to imported raw fish and Việt Nam’s trade agreements with a number of countries.
Tuna exports are forecast to top $1 billion this year, $350 million higher than last year, she said.
Exports of other fish, squid, octopus and other seafood products are likely to be steady or increase slightly, she said.
Referring to markets, she said shipments to Japan are expected to jump by 27 per cent to $900 million, with exporters focusing on marine fish, surimi and value-added products.
Exports to South Korea are also expected to rise by 27 per cent to $600 million as exporters take advantage of the free trade agreement with the country to boost shipments of all kinds of products, especially squid, octopus and crab, she said.
Firms would boost exports of tuna and other fish as well as squid, octopus and crab to the US by an expected 10 per cent to $480 million, she said.
Last year, exports to the EU fell by 4-20 per cent, except for tuna, whose shipments increased by 11.5 per cent, but even that growth halved from 2017 due to the impact of the yellow card, she said.
The sector is working to get the yellow card warning lifted this year, she added.
Exports to Southeast Asia are expected to reach $480 million, up 18 per cent, with a focus on exports of tuna, octopus and other species, the association said.
The association called on exporters to more actively to expand their markets, especially those having free trade agreements with Việt Nam, and enhance the value of exports with value-added products.
They also need to enhance co-operation with fishermen for improving the quality of products, it said.
Due to insufficient raw material supply in the domestic market, enterprises import from other countries for processing for export, she said.
Last year, imports were worth $1.25 billion, 34 per cent higher than in 2017 and accounting for 73 per cent of total seafood imports.