Vietnam seafood exports could miss $10 bln target

Slow Growth Projections for Vietnam’s Seafood Exports

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) recently released a report indicating that Vietnam’s seafood exports may fall short of the targeted $10 billion for the year. Instead, the export value is expected to experience a modest 2 percent increase from the previous year, reaching $9 billion. This decline in export values raises concerns about the overall performance of Vietnam’s seafood industry.

Vietnam seafood exports could miss 10 bln target

Declining Exports of Key Seafood Items

VASEP’s report highlights the downward trend in the export of major seafood items, particularly shrimp and pangasius fish. Shrimp exports during the first six months of the year are projected to decrease by 11 percent year-on-year, amounting to $1.4 billion. Similarly, pangasius fish exports are estimated to decline by 0.7 percent, reaching $995 million. These figures indicate the challenges faced by Vietnamese exporters in meeting demand for these key seafood products.

First-Half Export Performance

The estimated figures for the first half of the year further illustrate the difficulties encountered by Vietnam’s seafood industry. VASEP reports a 1 percent decline in exports, amounting to $3.95 billion during this period. Several factors contribute to this decline, including an 11 percent reduction in exports to the European Union (EU) due to the ongoing “yellow card” restriction imposed since 2017 for illegal fishing activities.

Challenges in Exporting to Important Markets

Export figures to China, one of Vietnam’s significant seafood markets, also witnessed a decline of 5 percent. China’s tightening import policies and increased demand for better quality products have contributed to this decrease. As a result, Vietnam’s exports to China for the whole year may experience a slight decrease compared to the previous year. These challenges in key markets pose further obstacles for Vietnam’s seafood exporters.

Vietnam’s Position as a Global Seafood Producer

Despite the challenges faced by Vietnam’s seafood industry, the country continues to hold a prominent position as one of the top ten seafood producers globally, as recognized by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. This acknowledgment highlights Vietnam’s significant contribution to the global seafood supply chain and its potential for future growth and development.


Vietnam’s seafood exports are encountering challenges in meeting the yearly target of $10 billion, with a projected increase of only 2 percent to reach $9 billion. The decline in exports of major seafood items, such as shrimp and pangasius fish, and the impact of factors like the EU’s “yellow card” restriction and China’s import policies have contributed to this situation. Nevertheless, Vietnam’s position among the top global seafood producers showcases its resilience and potential for growth in the industry. Efforts to address these challenges and enhance the quality of seafood exports will be crucial for sustaining the country’s competitiveness in the global seafood market.

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