Seafood exports were the highest this year in May, but they decreased in the first five months from the same period last year.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) said exports were worth over US$808 million in May, driven by a 53% growth in anchovy shipments, 20% growth in snapper and 14% in scad.

Exports of several key products to major markets like the U.S., the E.U., China, Japan, and South Korea rose to their the highest levels this year.

But in the year-to-date exports plummeted by 29% to $3.4 billion amid falling demand in major markets and fierce competition from other seafood exporters such as Ecuador and India, VASEP said.

According to VASEP and many businesses, prospects are not rosy in the U.S. and European markets in the near future because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, high inflation, their large seafood inventories, and fierce competition.

They are brighter in the Japanese, South Korean and Chinese markets, and Vietnamese seafood exports to them would increase if they keep inflation down, they said.

Vietnam’s seafood exports soared by 23% last year to $11 billion, spearheaded by shrimp, basa and tuna, according to the VASEP. Its largest markets were the U.S., Japan, China, and the EU.

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