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VASEP: 2016 seafood export turnover may exceed $7 billion

Released at: 17:03, 21/08/2016

VASEP: 2016 seafood export turnover may exceed $7 billion

Photo: Duc Anh

Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers points to positive factors in play over remaining months of year.

by Do Huong

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has predicted that turnover of the country's seafood exports will reach $7 billion for the year.

In the first seven months of this year Vietnam’s seafood exports rose 4.4 per cent compared to the same period last year, with turnover of $3.6 billion.

Seafood exports faced a host of difficulties earlier in the year. From the second quarter, however, the signs have been positive, especially for shrimp and tra fish exports.

Demand for imported shrimp has increased in the US since April, which is good news for Vietnam’s exporters. Ecuador, a major shrimp exporter, is likely to see lower output due to earthquakes and disease.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) increased the average duty on shrimp imports from India to 4.98 per cent from the previous 2.96 per cent, according to ICRA Limited, an Indian credit ratings agency. Thailand is also losing its prestige in the global shrimp market.

Global shrimp volumes are forecast to decline, pushing up prices by 10 to 15 per cent. This represents a great opportunity for Vietnam to increase the value of its shrimp exports to the US.

The US and Vietnam signed an agreement in July resolving disputes over US anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese shrimp. The two agreed on a framework to resolve two WTO disputes, DS404 and DS492, in which Vietnam objected to the US’s anti-dumping measures.

As a result, the Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, Vietnam’s largest shrimp exporter, will no longer be subject to anti-dumping duties when exporting to the US. In a DOC decision, Minh Phu’s dumping margin was found to be zero or not significant in three consecutive administrative reviews. It will be refunded part of the anti-dumping duties it had deposited in previous years, estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

The implementation of the Vietnam-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) has also had a positive impact on Vietnam’s shrimp exports.

In the first year of the agreement’s implementation 10,000 tons of Vietnamese shrimp will enjoy a tax rate of zero per cent. The figure for Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia is 5,000 tons. Over the next five years the figure for Vietnam will increase to 15,000 tons. This gives Vietnam’s shrimp more advantages than in the ASEAN-South Korea FTA, with a 5,000-ton figure on shrimp from all ten ASEAN countries.

VASEP said that the export of other major seafood items would also see good results over the remaining months of the year. It forecast export turnover of $7.1 billion, an 8 per cent increase compared to 2015.

Shrimp exports will earn $3 billion, up 10 per cent, tuna $500 million, up 10 per cent, and squid $450 million, up 5 per cent. Catfish exports, meanwhile, will earn $1.6 billion, down 4 per cent compared to 2015.

VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said that Vietnam’s seafood exports will face a shortage of shrimp supplies over the remaining months of the year due to the impacts of saltwater intrusion. Other seafood may also be affected due to problems in offshore fishing.

Vietnamese seafood companies will need import $1 billion worth of catfish, shrimp, and squid to meet demand for exports.

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