Imports of aquatic products exceed US$1.7b in 2018
Vietnam spent more than US$1.7 billion last year importing aquatic products, which were mainly processed for export, according to a report from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).




Employees process tra fish for export at a processing plant in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in this file photo. Imports of aquatic products in 2018 exceeded US$1.7 billion 


The import turnover of aquatic products last year saw an increase of 19% versus that recorded in 2017, with import values averaging out at nearly US$150 million per month.

The volume of shrimp imported into the country accounted for 27% of the total aquatic product import turnover, down 9%, while that of tuna and other marine fishes made up approximately US$350 million and US$670 million of the total, respectively, both rising some 30% versus the 2017 figures.

VASEP added that over 90% of the imported items were processed for export.

Vietnam imported aquatic products from 97 countries and territories, with over 70% of the total imported volume coming from the country’s 10 largest suppliers, including India, Norway, mainland China and Taiwan. Of these, India remained the largest supplier, followed by Norway.

As for exports of aquatic products, the country recorded US$8.8 billion in revenue, up 6% versus that earned in 2017, with the volume of shrimp, tra fish and tuna making up the majority. In addition, local aquatic items were mainly shipped to Europe, the United States, mainland China and Hong Kong.

Regarding the export target for this year, the local aquatic sector aims to generate at least US$10 billion in the turnover of aquatic products, up 11% versus last year’s figure, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong told attendees at a meeting held on February 16 in HCMC.

The target was set based on the potential growth and current conditions of three main groups of export products: shrimp, tra fish and tuna. To achieve the target, aquatic farming and exploitation, as well as technology applications, had to be in sync to produce high-quality products, Cuong noted.

Besides this, local exporters should upgrade their processing technologies and make use of the by-products of tra fish, such as making fish oil and collagen for export, he remarked.

SGT


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