Exports of Vietnam ’s main seafood staples such as “tra” fish and shrimp are projected to recover in the last months of this year in terms of both price and turnover, said the Information Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Information provided at a workshop on July 28 in Hanoi on the outlook for Vietnam ’s seafood exports showed that decreases in sales of pangasius and shrimp have slowed in the last three months.

This is considered to be an encouraging sign compared to the sharp declines registered for the first half of this year due to the global financial crisis, said a centre official.

Vietnam fetched over 148 million USD from 19,000 tonnes of shrimp in June, a rise of 13.5 percent in volume and 4 percent in value, compared to the same period last year.

“A recovery of exports for the product - which is considered a luxury in the time of the economic downturn - is a positive sign for seafood enterprises in the coming time,” said Nguyen Thai Phuong from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

Traditional import markets for Vietnamese shrimp, such as the European Union and the US , are on the way to recovery. After a three-month downward slide, US shrimp imports from Vietnam started to rise again in April and remained at a stable, double-digit growth rate through the end of June.

In addition, China has now emerged as a new market for Vietnamese exporters with its continuously rising demand.

Statistics have shown that earnings from seafood exports in July rose by 8 percent to 410 million USD, from 380 million USD in June. However, the slight increase can hardly reverse the downward trend for total export revenues in the first seven months of this year, which comes close to 2.2 billion USD, a year-on-year decrease of 9 percent.

Vietnam has revised down its seafood export target for 2009 to only 4 billion USD from its previous ambition of 4.5 billion USD, set early this year./.