China’s growing hunger for Vietnamese seafood

09:08 | 18/06/2019 Trade

(VEN) - Seafood exports to China are expected to reach US$1.5 billion this year. Vietnam Economic News’ Mai Ca and Hoang Ty spoke with Truong Dinh Hoe, Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) about the prospects of this market.

chinas growing hunger for vietnamese seafood
VASEP Secretary General Truong Dinh Hoe

Could you tell us about China’s demand for seafood?

China’s demand for seafood imports keeps growing yearly, having reached three million tonnes plus.

Chinese consumers like buying foreign products and natural seafood due to their certified food safety. They are willing to buy products that are accepted by the US and European markets. Vietnamese Tra fish exports to China have increased since they reached the US market.

Vietnamese enterprises usually exported seafood to China through border trade. How are they doing it nowadays?

It is true that many enterprises keep exporting seafood to China through border trade but this mode of trade is highly risky. A number of businesses have begun exporting seafood through ocean shipping. This is a good sign for the fisheries sector, and ocean shipping is expected to become a major mode of seafood export transportation in the future.

Vietnamese and Chinese government control of border trade frauds and improved quality management have encouraged seafood exporters to use official trade channels.

chinas growing hunger for vietnamese seafood
Shrimp exports to China have been increasing

What is Vietnam’s 2019 target for seafood exports to China?

We set a target of exporting seafood worth more than US$1.5 billion to China in 2019. This goal is completely feasible because the demand for seafood in China keeps growing. Large provinces of China are concerned about expanding the trade in fisheries with Vietnam to minimize purchases through intermediaries. E-commerce is developing fast in China, enabling businesses to introduce Vietnamese seafood throughout China.

In 2018, Vietnamese enterprises exported seafood worth US$1.3 billion to China.

However, apart from enterprises’ efforts to meet quality standards, the authorities’ strict control of cross-border export activities, including export documentary credit, are important to ensure the stable quality of exports to China, fair competition among businesses and the prestige of Vietnamese seafood products.

Vietnam has become the third biggest seafood exporter to China, mainly selling shrimp and Tra fish products to this

market. Black tiger shrimp have accounted for a high proportion of the country’s seafood exports to China over the

last five years, sometimes up to 50 percent annually.

Mai Ca & Hoang Ty