After more than a month of operation in the context of social distancing and working methods 3 in place, the result of seafood export in August decreased by 36% compared to the same period last year, clearly reflecting the impact on the fisheries and country. Accordingly, in August, seafood exports only reached about US$520 million, down 36% and decreasing in most key products.
According to the survey results of VASEP, in the past 1 month, only about 30-40% of seafood enterprises in the southern provinces can ensure the condition of “3 on the spot” and can only mobilize 40 -50% of workers participate in production, so the average production capacity is reduced to only 40-50% compared to before. Material supply chain is broken, or transportation is difficult; Businesses have lost customers due to the long delay in implementation, the lack of production materials that do not guarantee the delivery schedule, the delay in import and export procedures, the increase in input costs and transportation costs, etc. A series of difficulties piled up due to the Covid outbreak is and will be a burden for the Vietnamese seafood business community.
In August 2021, exports of shrimp, pangasius, tuna, squid, octopus, crabs and other marine fish all decreased by 35-40% over the same period in 2020. Thanks to the export results of the first 7 months. Therefore, in the first 8 months of the year, seafood exports still increased by about 6%, reaching 5.5 billion USD. In which, shrimp exports reached nearly 2.4 billion USD, up 4%, pangasius exports still kept growing by 7%, reaching 980 million USD. Tuna export in 8 months also increased by over 10% to 460 million USD. Meanwhile, exports of squid, octopus and other fish (except tuna and pangasius) increased slightly by 2% and 4% respectively.
In general, the Covid situation is still tense in the southern provinces, especially in Ho Chi Minh City. In Ho Chi Minh City and some provinces in the Southeast region (Dong Nai, Binh Duong), while the implementation of vaccination for workers in IZs and EPZs is still limited and uneven. With that situation, the picture of seafood production and export in September is still bleak.
Currently, some provinces south of Hau river such as Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, Kien Giang… have good disease control and flexibility, so the production situation will recover sooner. These are the key provinces for shrimp production and export, so shrimp products are expected to help limit the sharp decline in seafood exports in the last months of the year.
Pangasius production and processing is concentrated mainly in the northern provinces of the Hau River, still heavy because of 3 local production, more than half of the factories have to close, the pangasius export situation is difficult to improve in the month next.
Similarly, Ho Chi Minh City and the Southeast provinces are home to many factories and enterprises that process and export seafood products such as squid, octopus, tuna, and other marine fish. With the current Covid-19 outbreak, production and exports in these areas will continue to stagnate in September.
Therefore, it is forecasted that seafood exports in September will continue to decrease by at least 20% to about 660 million USD. With the scenario after September, most seafood processing workers are vaccinated, companies do not have to produce on the spot, exports in the last 3 months of the year will recover slightly and can achieve exports of about $8.5-8.6 billion. In which, shrimp exports are forecast to reach about 3.9 – 4 billion USD, pangasius about 1.5 billion USD, seafood export about 3.1 billion USD.