(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Vietnam seafood exports in March 2022 were estimated at US$920 million, still maintaining a growth rate of 25% despite the war in Ukraine, which interrupted seafood exports to Russia and Ukraine from the end of February and higher transportation costs as well as costs of raw materials for production, processing and exporting of aquatic products.
After increasing by 44% in January and 62% in February, Vietnam seafood exports in March 2022 grew more slowly but sales were still significantly higher than in the first two months of the year.
By the end of March 2022, the total seafood export was estimated at 2.4 billion USD, up 40% compared to the same period last year.
The positive results are mainly due to the fact that pangasius export is still recovering strongly, increasing by 80% to reach 261 million USD in March with signs of rebounding demand in major markets such as the US, China, and the EU. By the end of March 2022, accumulated pangasius exports are estimated at 646 million USD, up 88% from the same period in 2021. Pangasius is regaining its position in the structure of export aquatic products, accounting for 27% of the seafood export value.
Shrimp still accounted for the highest proportion of export turnover in March, at 37%, equivalent to 345 million USD, which is up 21% from the same period last year. Total shrimp exports in the first quarter reached over $900 million, 37% higher than in the first quarter of 2021. The high demand for shrimp in the major markets along with an increase in the average export price are the factors that helped shrimp export turnover exceed the previous year.
The war in Ukraine directly affected the fishing industry because gasoline prices were so high that many fishermen let their ships lie ashore, or even sold their ships and gave up their jobs. The seafood processing industry, which is already facing difficulties in terms of raw materials, is in short supply. Therefore, marine product exports in March only kept a modest increase of less than 3% to reach 312 million USD, in which, exports of tuna and cephalopod still maintained a growth of 20%, but exports of other marine fish species decreased by 14%.
Total marine product exports in the first quarter were estimated at USD 878 million, up 20%, thanks to high growth in the first 2 months of the year, in which, tuna exports reached 234 million USD, up 55%; cephalopod exports increased 35% to 156 million USD. Exports of mollusk shells and crabs reached US$30 million and US$54 million, respectively, up 23% and 70% compared to the first quarter of 2021.
Vietnam seafood exports to major markets in March 2022 still maintained high growth. Exports to the US increased by 42%, to China by 77%, to the EU by 37%, to South Korea by 23%. However, exports to Japan are only proximate to those of March 2021.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine obstructed seafood exports to Russia and Ukraine. Exports to Russia decreased by 86% in March to only $2.7 million, and exports to Ukraine were halted in March. In the first two months of the year, seafood exports to Ukraine still reached $4.5 million.
Although Russia accounts for less than 2% of Vietnam's seafood exports and Ukraine accounted for 0.3%, meaning the decrease in revenue in these two markets is not significant, the consequences of the war on the seafood industry are not significant because the increase in gasoline prices affects both production and export.
Seafood exports in April will continue to be affected by the Russia-Ukraine war, but still have growth momentum in major markets such as the US and EU, where trade activities and trade promotion have returned to the new normal. Vietnamese seafood enterprises are participating in international seafood fairs to connect and expand their customer base.
Therefore, it is forecasted that seafood exports in April will still grow by 25% to reach 934 million USD. Accordingly, the export of marine fish may decrease by 15%, but the export of pangasius will still increase by 80% and shrimp will increase by 20%, tuna by 18%, squid and octopus by 25%.
Compiled by Minh Trang