Seafood exports to small markets grow positively

There’s a big change in the structure of seafood exports when the density of exports to the US and China fell sharply and exports to Japan, Korea, and Thailand rose.

According to statistics by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, seafood export value is estimated to reach USD 550 million in February, leaving the total seafood export value of the first two months of USD 1.01 billion, down 32.9% from the same period last year. Japan, the US, and China were the top destinations of Vietnamese seafood in Jan 2023, accounting for 45.6% of the total seafood export value. The sharpest increase in sales was recorded in the Philippines in Jan, up 57.9%.

In Jan 2023, Vietnam’s seafood exports reached USD 457.2 million, down 47.3% from Dec 2022 and 39.4% from the same period last year, with exports to all target markets going down. The inevitable New Year Festival and Tet Holiday made Vietnam’s exports drop as compared to the same period last year, seafood exports included.

Japan was the biggest destination of Vietnamese seafood in Jan 2023, reaching USD 91.19 million, down 28.9% from Dec 2022 and 31.4% from Jan 2022. The export density to Japan rose from 17.6% in Jan 2022 to 19.9% in Jan 2023 of the country’s total seafood export value.

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Seafood exports to the US fell from 26.4% in Jan 2022 to 14.9% in Jan 2023. Korea, China, and Thailand were the second biggest markets of Vietnamese seafood in Jan 2023.

In 2023, global inflation is forecasted to go down but is the biggest risk to importing businesses and becomes a burden to consumers, especially low income families.

However, while exports to major markets fell sharply due to few orders, a noticeable increase in sales were recorded in small and niche markets, up 17% in Israel, 8% in Indonesia, 15% in Cameroon, 21% in Laos, and 7% in Chile.

Vietnam saw a 30 – 60% decrease in seafood exports to the EU countries, but exports to Finland skyrocketed by 435%.

According to VASEP, in the first quarter, seafood exports were 15 – 20% lower than the same period last year. After Seafood Expo Global in March and April, the adaptation and blooming of the Chinese market, and strategic adjustment by Vietnam’s seafood businesses, exports are expected to recover in quarter II.