17:08 | 05/04/2016 Trade
Vietnam’s aquatic export value in the first quarter of this year hit 1.36 billion USD, up 1.7 percent year-on-year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
However, many aquatic enterprises have forecast that Vietnam is facing numerous difficulties and challenges ahead due to the negative effects caused by saline intrusion in main farming areas and increased competitiveness in key export markets.
The Directorate of Fisheries under the ministry said ongoing saltwater encroachment in the Mekong Delta region seriously impacts on aquaculture, especially freshwater prawn breeding. Around 2,000 ha of intensive shrimp farming has been damaged by saltwater.
In the first two months of this year, the area of shrimp breeding in the region totalled only 386,000 ha, including 358,000 ha of giant tiger prawn and 9,700 ha of white leg prawn, equivalent to 86.6 percent and 72.5 percent against the same period last year.
Many aquatic firms said they have had to decline supply contracts due to shortages of prawns for processing.
According to Secretary-General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Truong Dinh Hoe, farmers narrowed cultivation because of their concern about diseases and water shortages, but he also noted that increasing export prices at present will motivate them to expand cultivation again.
He said that Vietnamese aquatic producers and processors are hoping for stronger growth in the next few months when international seafood products fairs are organised, offering Vietnamese firms opportunities to study market demand, seek partners and expand the market for their products.
The demand for prawns in the world market in 2016 is forecast to increase between 3.5-5 percent compared to 2015, and this is likely to bring an opportunity to Vietnam to raise exports.
Vietnam aims for 4 billion USD in shrimp exports this year, Hoe said./.