The aquatic product industry is confident it can attain the target of 5.3 billion USD from exports this year despite increasing input costs, a shortage of materials and other difficulties.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, seafood exports in the first four months of the year rose by 29 percent year on year to 1.6 billion USD. Seafood exports to the US grew by 39 percent; Germany, 32 percent and Canada, 100 percent. Tra fish and shrimp also maintained growth in US, Japan and the European Union (EU) markets.

Despite the rises in export value, most businesses did not earn profits due to increased input costs, high bank loan rates, and rising prices of electricity, oil and packaging.

Industry experts said that the biggest difficulty facing businesses is a serious shortage of raw materials such as farmed “tra” fish and shrimps, which has caused many factories to operate at only half of their capacity. There is also a lack of products such as cuttle-fish, octopus, tuna and codfish. Oil price hikes have pushed expenses for a fishing trip up by 20 percent.

Despite the difficulties, VASEP hopes that seafood exports will reach the yearly target of 5.3 billion USD, mainly coming from shrimps and tra fish exports. Apart from traditional markets, including the US, Japan and the EU, the businesses are working to expand to the Republic of Korea, China and other potential markets.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Le Phuong has suggested businesses to invest in their own fish farms and work hard to cut unnecessary expenses during production process./.