Seafood exports to Europe plunge sharply
By Ngoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Given the persistent debt woes in Europe, many local seafood exporters have seen their exports to this key aquatic product market of the country spiraling into slump.
Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said now he considers the European market the “black point” of the local seafood industry.
Tran Van Hau, managing director of Hung Ca Company in Dong Thap Province, noted multiple exporters have had no choice but to cut the volume of shipments to Europe.
“The European negative economic outlooks have resulted in the stagnant export activities of the local seafood sector over the past few months,” Hau noted, adding he believed the market would probably bounce back after June only.
There are about 300 seafood processing plants for export in the Mekong Delta as reported by VASEP. Many of them are small enterprises struggling with capital shortages and thus are heavily vulnerable to dropping demands from the traditional importer.
According to the General Department of Customs, as of the middle of last month the country’s total seafood export to Europe declined by 12.5% year-on-year in revenue, with tra fish exports falling by 15% and shrimp exports slipping by up to 27.6% against the year-ago period.
Ngo Thanh Hau, deputy general director of Trung Son Seafood Company in HCMC, said his enterprise has shifted to shipping special products to Japan to cope with Europe’s import slowdown.
Poor demands from the European market have pulled down input material demands from a number of local companies over the past time, Hoe of VASEP pointed out. Therefore, tra fish prices in the Mekong Delta shrank to VND22,000-23,000 a kilo from the initial VND26,000 despite limited input materials among local farmers, he added.
According to VASEP, Europe is one of the three major seafood importers and accounts for 20% of total seafood export revenues of the country annually.