Vietnam’s aquatic exports will experience significant challenges in 2015, although the sector’s export revenue has recorded an annual increase of 18 percent, reaching 7.9 billion USD in 2014, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Nguyen Huu Dung, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said that last year’s significant increase in seafood export revenue stemmed from the acquisition of over 1 billion USD of imported aquatic raw materials, noting that this led to the reliance on imported materials from foreign markets as well as expanded the imbalance of aquatic rearing and processing.

Vietnam’s aquaculture sector has been warned of batches of products which did not meet food safety standards in some key markets, including the US, Japan and the EU, due to the overuse of residues of antibiotics.

Vice Chairman Dung also confirmed that Vietnamese exporters, especially those specialising in shrimp and tra fish, will be hampered by food security and anti-dumping tariffs imposed by the US.

He added that in a bid to prevent diseases which threaten aquatic product productivity, it is necessary to control breeding animal quality and build a natural environment for aquaculture.

Aquatic exports in 2015 will be hugely affected by current market factors generating an increase in import prices, including the plunge in oil prices and currency depreciation. As such, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and VASEP recommend the affected enterprises prepare measures to counteract these challenges to accessing import markets, especially Japan, the EU and the US.

Despite these challenges, aquatic export revenue is expected to reach 8 billion USD in 2015, a 1.5 percent increase from 2014.-VNA