Quarter I/2021: Marine product exports surged thanks to surimi, canned fish and dried fish

According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, in the first quarter of 2021, Vietnam seafood export reached 1,73 billion USD, up by 7% over the same period last year. In particular, the marine products accounted for a dominant proportion with 42% and an outstanding growth of 11% with a turnover of 728 million USD, surpassing shrimp (661 million USD, up by 5%) and pangasius (331 million USD, up by 3%).

                                                             Marine food exports surged thanks to surimi, canned fish and dried fish

It is noteworthy that in the total marine product export value in the first 3 months of this year, there were 76% of turnover from marine fish products, of which tuna accounted for 21%, other marine fish accounted for 55%. Exported cephalopod products accounted for 16% crab with 4,4% and bivalve mollusk with 3,4%. In general, except for crab decreasing by nearly 4% export of main marine product increased : tuna up to 3%, other marine fish by 14,4%, octopus squid by 8%, bivalve mollusk by 26%.

Exports of surimi, canned fish, fish sauce and dried seafood have grown strongly

There are a number of product lines from marine fish having impressive growths in exports, significantly contributing to seafood export in the first quarter of 2021. First of all, surimi products with 83 million USD, up by 33% accounted for 11,5% of marine product exports (4,8% of total seafood exports). Top 4 markets that dominate the majority of Vietnam’s surimi exports include Korea (27%), Thailand (25%), Russia (10%) and Japan (10%).

Dried fish exports (except tuna) also saw a breakthrough, up by nearly 70% ti 48.3 million USD, accounting for 6.6% of the total marine product export. The Chinese market alone consumes about 45% of Vietnam’s dried fish exports, followed by South Korea with 13,4% Russia, Japan and Malaysia are also in the top 5, accounting for 12%; 8,5% and 7,4% respectively.

Canned marine fish (excluding tuna) increased 31% to 20,3 million USD, other processed marine fish increased by 22% to 72 million USD, accounting for 10% of marine product export. Canned tuna exports also increased by 14% to 45 million USD. Top 3 markets that consume the most canned fish from Vietnam include Japan (25%), Thailand 24%, America 24%. Notably, our neighbor Cambodia is ranked 4th and accounts for over 10% of Vietnam canned fish exports in the first quarter.

In addition to marine fish, in dried product segment, markets also increase the import of dried squid and dried marine shrimp exports nearly doubled over the same period in 2020, reaching 7,4 million USD.

The export of fish sauce and all kind of fish sauce also increased by 33%, reaching 7,6 million USD. Frozen octopus exports nearly increased by 16% and accounted for 6,6% of marine product exports.

Covid continues to influence exports of frozen fish fillets and squid

The export of fillet products or meat from marine fish (except tuna) also accounted for high proportion in the total seafood export, with over 15% but the first 3 months of this year only slightly increased by 0,3% reaching over 111 million dollars. For this product line, the majority (about 60% of the value) is from imported raw materials for export production or processing for export, so export business is affected more in the first quarter of this year when transportation costs increased and there was lack of containers for import and export.

In addition, some product lines continued to decline in sales, such as fresh/frozen marine fish down by 26,5%, processed tuna down by 5%, loin/fillet down by 3%, frozen quid down by 8%, processed octopus decreased by 22%… This is considered a trend of decreasing demand in the context of Covid for high-priced product lines.