Seafood business under pressure to boost competitiveness

09:35 | 01/08/2019 Trade

(VEN) - Suffering from pressure on export markets, Vietnam’s fisheries need to improve quality and lower product cost if they are to achieve their 2019 targets.

seafood business under pressure to boost competitiveness

At a July 4 conference on first half results, the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that in the first several months of 2019, Japan, the EU and the US maintained their level of demand for Vietnamese seafood. However, Nguyen Ngoc Oai, Acting General Director of the Directorate of Fisheries said seafood export revenue in the first half of 2019 was more than 50 percent lower than the annual target due to decreases in shrimp prices because of competition from India and Ecuador, China’s strict border-based control, and a drop in fresh Tra fish and Tra fish export prices.

The US Department of Commerce (DOC) recently imposed an anti-dumping duty of US$1.37-3.87 per kilo on Vietnamese Tra fish. Ecuador is renowned for producing high quality shrimp, which has caused great pressure on the Vietnamese shrimp industry, said Nhu Van Can, Director of the Department of Aquaculture. Starting on December 31, 2018, shrimp and abalone exports to the US must comply with the US Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP).

Vietnamese seafood enterprises need to innovate constantly if they are to improve competitiveness in foreign markets. The Directorate of Fisheries has made shrimp and abalone included in the would-be-registered product list of the Department of Aquaculture from 2019.

Since the US has lifted its anti-dumping duty on shrimp products and increased its Tra fish duties, the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority recommends that enterprises boost shrimp exports to this market in the short term. At the same time, they should strengthen Tra fish exports to such traditional markets as China, the EU and ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations). In the long term, seafood processing establishments need to upgrade and expand storage, preservation, sterilization and processing facilities, according to the development authority.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien:

The fisheries sector needs to make strenuous efforts if it is to achieve its US$10.5-billion export target and an export

growth of 6.7 percent in 2019.

Nguyen Hanh