In the first quarter of 2022, the aquatic products export market gradually recovered, achieving impressive growth with most export commodities growing at a high rate, with total exports reaching US$2.4 billion, up 38.7% compared to the same period in 2021. The volume and value of exports of products such as shrimp and chum increased significantly.
According to the evaluation of the Aquaculture Department of the General Directorate of Aquaculture, the first quarter of 2022 went well for aquaculture, with a surge in the area under cultivation, accompanied by an increase in the prices of all types of aquatic products, including a significant increase in the price of char. However, the first quarter was less successful in the marine fishing sector due to the complex evolution of the weather at sea. In particular, the cost of fishing at sea increased, especially because the price of gasoline continued to surge, resulting in low exploitation efficiency.
At the same time, the prices of fish caught did not increase, and even some fish prices decreased compared to the same period in 2021, making many ship owners reluctant to go fishing at sea, and in many places fishing vessels were stranded. According to the report of the General Directorate of Fisheries, in the first three months of 2022, fish production reached nearly 1.9 million tons, an increase of 2.4% compared to the same period in 2021, of which 875,000 tons of caught fish (down 1.2%) and 995,000 tons of farmed fish (up 5.9%).
Building on the recovery trend since the end of 2021, the value of fish exports maintained a steady growth in the first three months, reaching US$2.4 billion, up 38.7% compared to the same period in 2021. The above results come mainly from the still strong recovery and impressive breakthrough in cha fish and shrimp. cha fish exports in the first three months of 2022 reached US$646 million, up 88% compared to the same period in 2021. shrimp exports to major markets such as the US, EU, Japan, South Korea, China and the UK grew well in the first few months of 2022.
Among them, the U.S. continues to be the largest import market for Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 21% of the value of Vietnam's shrimp exports. The reopening of the U.S. market in the post-Newcastle pneumonia epidemic period has continued to increase demand for fish imports, including shrimp. Vietnam became the fourth largest shrimp exporter to the United States after India, Ecuador and Indonesia, and shrimp exports to China also showed a recovery. Shrimp exports are expected to reach about $4 billion for the year, up 3%.
Russia-Ukraine conflict more or less on the two markets have an impact on fish exports, although the Russian-Ukraine market only accounts for a small percentage of Vietnam's fish exports. However, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has led to an increase in the price of gasoline and many other raw materials, which has an impact on the costs and profits of enterprises. Such as the Russian market, each year, Vietnam's exports of aquatic products to Russia amounted to more than 160 million U.S. dollars (3% of Vietnam's aquatic product exports). When the conflict breaks out, export activities to Russia such as lack of transport vessels and high costs are suspended due to the risk of bank transactions.
Currently, Vietnamese companies have to closely track the situation and deal with stocks or find measures to export to other markets. Do Lap-ye, chairman of the South Vietnam Group (Navico), said that in addition to the Russian market, the export of fish to the Chinese market has encountered bottlenecks when China implemented the "zero new crown" policy. In addition, the current soaring world oil prices have caused a continuous increase in transportation costs are also a long time in the future to face the difficulties of a number of aquatic products export enterprises.
In the April 2022 and the second quarter of the plan task deployment meeting held in early April, General Director of the General Department of Fisheries Chen Tinglun believes that the first quarter of fish production and exports have seen an upturn. However, sustainable growth has not been achieved yet, as input costs continue to tend to rise.
In order to implement the set tasks and plans, Director General Tan Tinh Lwin suggested to focus on a number of core tasks, such as those related to aquatic development, the establishment of inspection missions to check the responsibilities of the localities, with the aim of urging and guiding the implementation of the tasks to overcome the yellow card warning of the European Commission (EC). Continue to follow up, guide, and address deficiencies regarding the development of fishery certificates and management of fishing vessels in port, in order to guarantee that seafood export activities are not affected and to take measures against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels to lift the yellow card warning.
To overcome difficulties occurring in markets such as Russia and Ukraine, the Department of Agriculture and the General Department of Fisheries will closely follow the situation and work closely with industry associations and the State Bank of Vietnam, aiming to provide financial support to enterprises that have exported products to Russia but have stalled financial transactions. At the same time, it will communicate with the Association of Aquatic Products Processing and Export (VASEP) and discuss measures to solve the current difficulties caused by the stagnation of the Russian and Ukrainian markets. 2022, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Aquatic Quality also focuses on the shortcomings concerning the Chinese and American markets in order to find measures to diversify the export markets for Vietnamese aquatic products.
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