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How much seafood will Vietnam export in 2010?   2010-03-18 - VietNamNet/TBKTVN

Ministries and independent forecasters do not agree about the potential for Vietnam’s seafood exports in 2010. While ministries remain optimistic about export prospects, independent institutions prove to be more pessimistic.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) believes that the seafood export turnover of Vietnam will increase by 7.1 percent over 2009 to reach $4.5 billion in 2010.


MARD offered this prediction after the ministry noted that though 2009 was very difficult year due to the global economic crisis, Vietnam still exported $4.2 billion in seafood. The figure represented just a small decrease of 6.2 percent, or $276.6 million, compared to 2008.


The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), considering the recovery of the world’s economy, is also optimistic about Vietnam’s export prospects. The ministry believes that Vietnam’s 2010 seafood exports will reach $4.7 billion, similar to MARD’s figure.


MOIT has every reason for its optimistic forecast: the US, EU and Japan, the main export markets of Vietnam, have been recovering well from the economic crisis.


Meanwhile, Agromonitor, an analysis and forecasting joint stock company, argues that such figures are unachievable. Agromonitor believes that the growth rate of seafood exports in 2010 will be no more than four percent.


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the world’s seafood market still faces difficulties in 2010, especially when the world’s economy is yet to recover fully. Lower consumption and belt-tightening will be obstacles to the world’s seafood market recovery.


Regarding the US, EU and Japan, international analysts maintain that these markets are not really bright as macroeconomic growth figures indicate and are not sustainable. Especially, deflation in Japan and record-high unemployment in the US and EU will be factors that decrease consumption and force prices down.


Meanwhile, Vietnam has a lot of competition. India, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines have invested heavily in diversifying their products and increasing productivity, which will be disadvantages for Vietnam.


Additionally, if Vietnam’s tra and basa are re-defined as catfish in the US, their export statistics will suffer heavily.


In Japan, the demand for shrimp will depend on the nation’s economic recovery. Shrimp exports from Vietnam will not likely increase much in 2010.


As for the EU market, the IUU law (illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing) has made export extremely difficult. Under the IUU law, all seafood shipments to the EU must clearly show the origin of the products, including the sea area where the fish are caught and the names of the fishing boats. Otherwise, they will be refused entry.

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