Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Despite challenges ahead, aquatic exports are expected to reach 7.1 billion USD this year, a rise of 8 percent over last year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Though exports have risen, aquatic exports may face several problems in the last half of the year, and exporters have been warned to meet strict standards on hygiene and other matters, including in key markets like the US, Japan and the EU.

Ngo Van Ich, Chairman of VASEP, attributed the problems to heavy reliance on imported materials from foreign markets as well as an imbalance between aquatic rearing and processing.

Ich said a number of Vietnamese exporters, especially shrimp and catfish exporters, would continue to be hurt by anti-dumping tariffs imposed by the US and other import markets.

The ongoing drought and saline intrusion are still affecting aquatic production. Tonnes of fish have died not only in the central region but also in the Mekong Delta, according to VASEP.

In addition, the EU is expected to face more difficulties due to currency depreciation and negative information about the Eurozone, which will affect Vietnamese aquatic exports.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and VASEP told affected enterprises to prepare measures to access stricter import markets like the US, the EU and Japan.

Of the total 7.1 billion USD expected in seafood exports this year, shrimp exports are expected to reach 3 billion USD, a rise of 10 percent, and catfish, 1.6 billion USD, a drop of 4 percent over last year.

Total exports of tuna are also expected to increase, to 500 million USD, by year-end, up 10 percent, and cuttlefish and octopus, up 5 percent over last year.

Vietnam exports aquatic products to 144 countries and territories. The top five export markets are the US, the EU, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea, accounting for 70 percent of the country’s total export value of aquatic products.-VNA