China is the largest consumer market for Vietnamese lobster

In the first 8 months of this year, Vietnam’s lobster exports to China reached 76 million USD, down 42% compared to the same period in 2022. To date, China is still the largest import market of Vietnamese lobster.

In 2022, Vietnam’s lobster exports to China reached over 257 million USD, an increase of 8.3 times compared to 2021. Vietnamese lobster exports to China in 2022 increased sharply thanks to rising Chinese consumer demand due to several years earlier, the Chinese market closed due to the Covid pandemic. In 2021, the Chinese lobster market was almost “frozen” because of the Covid epidemic, so in 2022, supply decreased, causing this market to boost imports for domestic consumption and export processing.

In addition, on April 27, 2022, Thanh Nhon General Trading And Seafood Company Limited (Ho Chi Minh City) signed a contract to officially export live lobster products to Kunming City with the amount of capacity of 2,000 tons, implemented until April 2023. This is the largest official lobster export contract ever for a domestic enterprise.

In 2021, Vietnamese lobster exports to China reached 31 million USD, down 80% compared to 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, China implemented a zero COVID policy, causing many factories in the country to close and production to stagnate.

According to data from China Customs, in the first 7 months of this year, China’s lobster imports reached 32,358 tons, worth over 962 million USD, an increase of 19% in volume and 1% in value over the same period last year.

The largest lobster suppliers to China include Canada, the US, New Zealand, Cuba, India, Brazil, Mexico… Vietnam ranks 14th in lobster supply to China, accounting for a small market share of 1%. Vietnamese lobster products exported to China include fresh, live rock lobsters, Ornate spiny lobster and green lobster.

Currently, lobster consumption is mainly exported to the Chinese market via unofficial channels. Lobster farmers always face many risks when prices fluctuate erratically, being pressured by traders… Meanwhile, informal exports are becoming increasingly narrow as China is gradually applying strict conditions on imports of fishery products. To ensure convenience in the future, officially exporting lobster is very necessary. To do so, it is urgent to create links between production, purchasing and export of lobsters associated with traceability.

To successfully build linked models, the fisheries industry will focus on supporting relevant parties participating in the chain to access support policies; guide the transfer of scientific and technological advances in aquaculture; Implement well the planning of concentrated aquaculture areas to develop raw material areas; Create favorable conditions for purchasing and exporting units to connect with lobster farmers.

Farmers need to focus on taking care and closely monitoring market developments, stocking at moderate density and in accordance with planning, and fully register and declare with state management agencies.

Previously, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had a project to develop lobster farming and export by 2025, with total farming output reaching 3,000 tons a year and export turnover reaching 200 million USD a year. The largest lobster producing provinces in the country are Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, and Kien Giang.