Vietnamese seafood exporters now put high hopes on South Korean market
VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam exported $475 million worth of seafood products to South Korea in the first eight months of the year, an increase of 27 percent compared with the same period last year.


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Exports to South Korea have been going smoothly with Nha Trang Seafood (F17). In the first half of the year, F17 earned $20 million from the South Korean market out of  total export turnover of $95 million. 

South Korea appears to be a new market for many Vietnamese exporters, but it has been a loyal market for F17 for many years.

The target markets for most Vietnamese seafood companies, unlike F17, are the US, Europe, Japan and China. South Korea is not in the list, though the market brings the fourth largest export value for Vietnam. South Korean statistics show that Vietnam is among five major supply sources of the country.

According to VASEP, in 2016 Vietnam exported $617 million worth of products, up by 5.5 percent over the same period last year. The major import items were shrimp, small octopus and Juichi cuttlefish, while frozen products accounted for 69.6 percent and processed products 30.3 percent.

In 2016 Vietnam exported $617 million worth of products, up by 5.5 percent over the same period last year. The major import items were shrimp, small octopus and Juichi cuttlefish, while frozen products accounted for 69.6 percent and processed products 30.3 percent.

Analysts believe that now is the right time to boost seafood exports to South Korea. Under the Vietnam-South Korea FTA, more product items can enjoy preferential tariffs, including seafood. 

Meanwhile, research by  Nha Trang University found that NFQS and MFDS, the two Korean agencies in charge of supervising seafood imports from Vietnam, have set up more comfortable regulations.

If the import consignments from Vietnam are found not meeting requirements on food hygiene, the agencies will suspend imports.

South Korea has recently taken moves to learn more about the Vietnamese seafood market as it is the third largest trade partner of Vietnam, following China and the US.

KFTA in July opened an aquatic product export promotion center in HCMC in order to seek new markets for Korean exports. In 2016, South Korea exported $97 million worth of aquatic products to Vietnam, up by 9 percent over the year before. 

Khong Trung Thang, vice president of Nha Trang University, said Korean consumers previously liked meat products, but now use more seafood products.

According to Huynh Long Quan, deputy general director of Nha Trang Seafood, the competition in South Korea is mostly in price and exporters do not face technical barriers on product quality.

However, South Korea might be not an attractive market for many Vietnamese companies because the expected profit from the market is lower than that of the US, Europe and Japan.


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Thanh Lich

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