Seafood exports reach $7.9b in 2014

Update: 12/23/2014

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam will reach US$7.9 billion in the value of seafood exports for 2014 due to high growth in key products.

Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) general secretary Nguyen Hoai Nam said the world market had seen a recovery, and sales of seafood products has risen more than other types of food. Meanwhile, Viet Nam maintained stable and high quality seafood supplies, as the nation was estimated to gain a year-on-year increase of 18 per cent in seafood export values for this year, rising to $7.9 billion, reported

Also, deputy minister of agriculture and rural development Vu Van Tam said the nation could reach its target of $8 billion in total seafood export value for next year due to the continuing high growth in value this year.

The value of shrimp exports in 2014 was expected to reach 22 per cent year-on-year, surging to $3.8 billion, while the value of tra fish exports would be $1.8 billion, he said.

Of note, Nam said tilapia could become a key export seafood products in the near future. Many seafood experts agreed with this opinion because, with the potential in fresh water and existing technological infrastructures of the fisheries industry, Viet Nam had the ability to greatly increase the output of tilapia for export processing.

Pham Anh Tuan, deputy head of Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said tilapia had great appeal in foreign markets.

Over the past five years, tilapia has reached an average growth rate at 30 per cent each year in the world market.

For instance, the US market imported tilapia worth $200 million 10 years ago, while this year the import value of tilapia to the US is expected to reach $1 billion. Meanwhile, the export price of tilapia at the market is high, at $4.5 per kilo.

Also, China annually exports 1.1-1.5 million tonnes of tilapia.

Thus tilapia, said Nam, would be a potential export seafood product for Viet Nam in the future.

Tuan added that the fisheries industry would promote the production of tilapia. Also, systems for raising tilapia along with shrimp would improve the environment, control disease and produce quality seafood products, officials noted.

Nguyen Huu Dung, VASEP deputy chairman, said many enterprises now raising tra fish and shrimp had planned investments for rearing tilapia.

Viet Nam produced 80 per cent of the local demand of tilapia breeding and the ministry built a centre for hatching tilapias in Quang Nam Province to provide live fish for the northern provinces. In the future, the ministry would have a plan on sustainable development of tilapia to assure high growth in tilapia exports, he said. — VNS

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