Korea is still the largest importer of Vietnam’s squid and octopus, accounting for 41% of the total export value. However, fishery enterprises still face difficulties because of high sea freight rates and insufficient domestic material supply.

After a decline in the third quarter of 2021, Vietnam’s squid and octopus exports to Korea recovered well in the fourth quarter of 2021 with an export value of 82.1 million USD, up 20% over the same period in 2020. In the whole of 2021, the export value of these items to this market reached 247.9 million USD, up nearly 7% compared to 2020.

According to statistics from Vietnam Customs, the octopus was the key export product of Vietnam to this Korea in 2021, especially frozen octopuses accounted for 78% of the total export value.

Vietnam’s octopus is favored by the Korean market

Enjoying 0% tariff incentives has helped Vietnam increase fresh, live, and frozen octopuses in the Korean market. In contrast, exports of dried, baked, fresh, live, and frozen squid decreased by 23% and 7%, respectively.

The export value of the two groups (Processed octopus products and dried, salted, fresh, and frozen octopus) increased by 3% and 13%, respectively. The export of processed squid increased the most by 52%.

Korea mainly imported from following products from Vietnam:  frozen cut octopus, frozen whole cleaned octopus, frozen processed octopus, dried squid, frozen processed squid, frozen sushi squid, frozen cleaned fillet cuttlefish, frozen whole cleaned cuttlefish, etc.

According to ITC data, Korea’s import of squid and octopus from countries in the first 11 months of 2021 decreased by 6.7% to over 880 million USD. Vietnam ranks second in supplying squid and octopus to Korea, after China.

According to data from kita.org, Vietnam is the largest supplier of frozen octopus (HS 030752) for Korea, accounting for 43% of the market share. China ranks second with 41% of the market share.

Vietnam and China are the two largest suppliers of frozen octopus to Korea, accounting for an overwhelming market share. In 2021, Korea sharply increased imports of frozen octopus from these two sources, of which imports from China increased more than from Vietnam.

According to VASEP experts, Vietnam’s squid and octopus exports are still affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and limited material supply for production. In addition, export activities are also limited by the high sea freight. Currently, Korea, Thailand, the EU, and the US remain a stable demand for importing squid and octopus from Vietnam.

Vietnam’s fishery enterprises expect more support from state management agencies to maintain key markets such as Korea and China, thereby helping the fishery industry to ensure export targets in the new year./.