The value of seafood exports this year could increase to 7 billion USD, but the fisheries industry will have to overcome several obstacles to achieve that target.

The industry is depending on a surge in exports of shrimp, prawns and tra fish to achieve the 7 billion USD export target.

However, Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), noted that this year, the opportunities to raise seafood exports will be few because the market is relatively unpredictable, according to the news website VnEconomy.

For instance, Vietnam gained 3 billion USD in export orders for shrimp and prawns last year. The expectation is that export orders will climb to 3.5 billion USD this year.

However, achieving the higher target may be difficult because producers in other countries, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Ecuador, are recovering from the shrimp and prawn disease that reduced their output last year.

As a result, competition will be more intense this year and Vietnamese exports may not increase very rapidly, Hoe pointed out.

Additionally, the prices of shrimp and prawns could decline in the world market this year, after hitting record highs last year, he added.

If the industry manages to generate 7 billion USD in exports, it would represent an increase of 280 million USD, Hoe noted, saying that it was not a high target.

However, given the changing situation in the global market, the expectations of high prices for seafood this year could be unrealistic.

It seems almost certain that the industry will export seafood worth 6.7-6.8 billion USD in 2014, although exports of 7 billion USD are possible given suitable market conditions.

Last year, Vietnam exported seafood products to 156 markets around the world, and earned 6.7 billion USD, higher than the target of 6.5 billion USD set earlier in the year.-VNA