VIET NAM - According to Vietnam Customs, seafood exports in February 2014 reached $458 million, up nearly 57 per cent year on year.
Apart from tuna, which saw drop of 156 per cent, sales of other aquatic species got rise in export value: shrimp up 156 per cent (thanks to a rise of 305 per cent in whiteleg shrimp exports), pangasius up 31 per cent, cephalopod up 23 per cent, reports VASEP.
This year, exports of whiteleg shrimp continues growing considerably, as Vietnamese farmers expanded lands for the species farming after bumper and profitable harvests in 2013.
The Viet Nam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reports that the production of brackish water shrimp is better than the previous months. Many provinces in Mekong Delta increase superficies for shrimp breeding.
In the first quarter of 2014, some provinces got high shrimp output: Kien Giang (black tiger shrimp: 82,046 hectares, 2,331 MT; whiteleg shrimp: 804 hectares, 2,038 MT), Bac Lieu (black tiger shrimp: 98,889 hectares, 9,608 MT; whiteleg shrimp: 1,911 hectares, 1,592 MT), Ca Mau (black tiger shrimp: 263,735 hectares, 20,460 MT; whiteleg shrimp: 3,000 hectares, 8,540 MT).
Through February 2014, Viet Nam exported $497 million of shrimp products, up 105 per cent year on year. Earnings from sales of whiteleg shrimp products were $303 million, up 228 per cent year on year. Black tiger shrimp items brought back $161 million, up 27 per cent.
Pangasius saw a strong recovery in February, increasing the year-to-date exports by 8.5 per cent year on year to $275 million. In Q1 2014, land for pangasius production in Mekong Delta is expected to be 5,400 hectares, providing total output of 382,000 MT.
Most main producing provinces reported downing fish aquaculture, including Vinh Long with 421 hectares (-2.3 per cent), Dong Thap with 1,052 hectares (-2.9 per cent). However, some of them had higher pangasius output: Dong Thap 57,633 MT (+7.3 per cent); Can Tho 15,920 MT (+58.41 per cent).
Though fishermen saw positive signs in fishing activities in the first months of the year with high fish catches, landings of tuna – the key marine fish for export – went down. Through March 2014, fish catches were estimated to reach 686,000 MT, up 5.4 per cent year on year. Phu Yen caught 13,100 MT, down 1,9 per cent; 1,700 MT of which were ocean tuna, down 40.4 per cent. Binh Dinh caught 33,600 MT, up 18.3 per cent; 2,237 MT of which were ocean tuna, up 7.4 per cent. Khanh Hoa got 15,018 MT, including 1,866 MT of tuna.
Tuna sales abroad decreased 25 per cent year on year to $73 million through February. The strong drop was seen in fresh/frozen tuna of HS03 (-53 per cent in February; -34 per cent in the first two months of 2014).
The March seafood exports are expected to keep steady growth, as sales of whiteleg shrimp and pangasius are recovering. Sales of raw tuna continue to fall down due to lower landings.
TheFishSite News Desk