VIET NAM :Vietnam exported seafood for USD 6.57 billion in 2015, which represented a fall of 16.1 per cent over 2014. At the same time, imported seafood for USD 1 billion, up 0.5 per cent compared to the previous year, according to Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers (Vasep)'s statistics.
The decline in exports was attributed to a number of difficulties faced by the sector as a result of lower export prices, a drop in demand from importing countries and stronger competition.
VASEP explained that Vietnamese companies are forced to import raw materials for processing in the country, which then is re-exported, due to the instability of the domestic supply.
Most of the imported products are fresh and frozen fish and seafood. The shrimp came from 37 markets, and white and tiger shrimp accounted respectively for 65.9 per cent and 20.3 per cent of all purchases of this crustacean to other countries.
According to the statistics from Customs shrimp imports represented 40 per cent with over USD 426 million, down 11 per cent compared to 2014.
Tuna imports hit USD 215 million, amount representing 20 per cent of total imports and 15 per cent higher than the previous year.
Other marine fish imports reached USD 351 million, occupying 33 per cent of the total, up 11 per cent yoy.
India is the largest shrimp supplier to Vietnam with an estimated value of USD 318 million, representing 74.7 per cent share of total imports of this crustacean.
Statistics of the International Trade Centre (ITC) reveal that Vietnam became the second largest importer of Indian shrimp, only after the U.S.
Vietnamese seafood industry hopes to increase its shrimp exports to key markets this year, thanks to Trans-Pacific Partnership Cooperation (TPP) free trade agreements. Therefore, VASEP expects shrimp imports will rise 10 per cent in 2016, to USD 470 million.FIS