Vietnam gains record in seafood export value in 2017 hinh anh 1Vietnam gains record in seafood export value in 2017 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam gained its highest ever seafood export value of 8.32 billion USD in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 18 percent, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea were the top four export markets for Vietnamese seafood products, accounting for 55.3 percent of the total national export value.

Vietnam’s export markets with strong growth in seafood export value included China (up 64.4 percent), the Netherlands (up 48.6 percent), the UK (up 36.4 percent), the Republic of Korea (up 29.1 percent), Canada (up 22.3 percent) and Japan (up 20 percent).

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said shrimp exports provided the biggest contribution to the total national seafood export value, with a growth rate of 21 percent to 3.8 billion USD in export value for 2017.

The strong growth in shrimp exports was mainly due to confidence of export markets for Vietnamese shrimp products, said Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP General Secretary.

Other reasons for strong growth in shrimp exports included an increase of 10 percent in export shrimp price, higher quality of material and high volume of processed products, Hoe said.

Shrimp export value increased by 60 percent to China, 42 percent to the US, 33 percent to the Republic of Korea and 18 percent to Japan.

Meanwhile, the export value of tra fish (pangasius) reached nearly 1.8 billion USD in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 4 percent despite difficulties in many export markets.

Vietnam's tuna export value achieved a year-on-year increase of 16 percent to 600 million USD while export value of squid and octopus stood at about 600 million USD, gaining strong growth of 42 percent.

A surprising point regarding Vietnam's seafood exports in 2017 was that China surpassed the US as the top export market of Vietnam's tra and shrimp products.

China was the leading export market of Vietnamese tra fish with a year-on-year surge of 37 percent in 2017 to 420 million USD and the third largest shrimp export market of domestic shrimp products after the EU and Japan. Vietnam gained a year-on-year increase of 60 percent from the export value of shrimp to China to 677 million USD.

VASEP said that China will continue to be an important market for local seafood enterprises in the future because Vietnam's seafood exports to the EU and the US still face anti-dumping tax and technical barriers.

Seafood exports in 2018 are expected to reach over 8.5 billion USD, up about 3 percent compared to 2017, though Vietnam's seafood exports to the US and EU markets will continue to be affected by catfish inspection, anti-dumping and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), according to the VASEP.

To achieve this target, Vietnam must pay attention to antibiotics to ensure quality and competitiveness of Vietnamese seafood material, Hoe said.

The nation should implement traceability for seafood export products of Vietnam as per demand of markets importing Vietnamese products, he said.

Local seafood enterprises should also focus on applying technology in processing seafood products for export to increase added value and competitiveness of Vietnamese products, he said.

The export value of agro, forestry and seafood products reached a record 36.37 billion USD this year, a year-on-year increase of 13 percent, according to the ministry.

The export of major agricultural products was estimated at 18.96 billion USD, a year-on-year growth of 15.7 percent while the export value of forestry products in 2017 was estimated at 7.97 billion USD, an increase of 9.2 percent year-on-year.

Total rice exports for the year reached 5.89 million tonnes, earning 2.66 billion USD, a year-on-year surge of 22.4 percent in volume and 23.2 percent in value.

China continued to be the largest buyer of Vietnamese rice, accounting for 39.5 percent of the total exports.

Rubber, tea, cashew nuts and other produce also saw high growth in 2017.

In 2017, rubber exports reached 1.39 million tonnes worth 2.26 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 11 percent and 35.6 percent, respectively, in volume and value. China, Malaysia and India were the three largest rubber buyers.

High prices pushed cashew nut exports to 353,000 tonnes worth 3.52 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 1.9 percent in volume and 23.8 percent in value. The US, the Netherlands and China were top importers.

This year, the export of tea was estimated at 140,000 tonnes worth 229 million USD, up 7.2 percent in volume and 5.6 percent in value over last year.

Exports of cassava and cassava products were estimated at 3.95 million tonnes in volume and 1.04 billion USD in value for a year-on-year surge of 6.9 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.

However, coffee exports decreased slightly by 20.2 percent in volume to 1.42 million tonnes and 3.8 percent in value to 3.21 billion USD. Germany and the US were still the top two export markets for Vietnamese coffee.

There was a strong reduction in pepper exports in 2017 because export prices fell sharply by 35 percent over the previous year. While pepper export volumes surged by 20.5 percent to 214,000 tonnes, its value fell 21.9 percent to 1.12 billion USD compared to 2016.-VNA