Vietnamese squid and octopus are favored in South Korea

South Korea: Key Importer of Vietnamese Squid and Octopus

Vietnamese businesses are capitalizing on the increasing demand for clean and healthy seafood, particularly squid and octopus, among Korean consumers. South Korea remains the largest importer of Vietnamese squid and octopus, offering significant opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises.

Vietnamese squid and octopus are favored in South Korea

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), South Korea has shown the highest growth rate among the top five import markets for Vietnamese squid and octopus. In the first three months of 2019 alone, exports of squid and octopus to South Korea experienced a substantial increase of nearly 35%, amounting to US$61.5 million.

Factors Driving Export Growth

The stable consumption demand and tariff advantages resulting from the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) have contributed to the consistent growth of Vietnamese squid and octopus exports to the South Korean market. Octopus stands out as the primary export product, accounting for 77.6% of the total, with squid making up the remaining portion.

Within the octopus category, dried, fermented, and frozen variants are the most imported products in Korea. Other popular items include dried or grilled squid, fresh squid, and frozen squid. Notably, Vietnam enjoys a 0% export tax rate for fresh/live and frozen octopus products destined for South Korea.

Korean Demand and Market Dynamics

Korean consumers exhibit a strong preference for Cephalopod products, particularly dried varieties. In recent years, the import of squid and octopus in Korea has been on the rise due to the heightened demand for clean and healthy food sources. Data from the International Trade Center (ITC) reveals that during the first quarter of 2019, South Korea imported squid and octopus from eight different sources.

Among these, China holds the largest market share, accounting for 57.4% of imports, followed by Peru with 26.8%. Vietnam secures the third position with an 11.6% market share, solidifying its status as a significant supplier of squid and octopus to the Korean market.

In summary, Vietnamese businesses are well-positioned to benefit from the growing demand for squid and octopus in South Korea. With stable consumption patterns, tariff advantages, and a reputation for clean and healthy seafood, Vietnam has emerged as a key player in meeting the Korean market’s requirements. By leveraging these opportunities, Vietnamese enterprises can continue to expand their presence and capture a larger share of this lucrative market.

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