Vietnam’s seafood exports in the second quarter of 2022 recorded a turnover of over 3.2 billion USD, nearly 36% higher than 2.4 billion USD in the same period in 2021.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), seafood exports in June 2022 brought over one billion USD in foreign currency, equivalent to May 2022, and increased 23% compared to the same period last year. With this result, in the first half of this year, Vietnam’s seafood exports were estimated at nearly 5.8 billion USD, up 40% compared to the first half of 2021.


According to the VASEP, due to the lack of raw materials for processing, shrimp export sales in June 2022 only maintained a modest growth of 7%, reaching 450 million USD. Accumulated in the first half of 2022, shrimp exports reached 2.3 billion USD, up 33% compared to the same period last year and accounted for 40% of the total value of seafood exports.

Tra fish exports increased sharply due to high selling prices. (Photo: Internet)

Exports of processed white shrimps in the first half of the year increased by 17%, while exports of fresh/frozen shrimps increased by 21%. Prawn exports in the first half of the year still increased by 20% reaching more than 300 million USD. In particular, lobster exports reached a record of nearly 130 million USD in the first half of the year, up 30 times over the same period last year.

Inflation and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict are opportunities for Tra fish in 2022. Lack of white meat fish, especially cod in the EU, US, and UK markets due to sanctions with Russia, many restaurants in these markets have had to put cod out of the menu.

As a result, Tra fish has the opportunity to gain market share in these markets. Tra fish exports to the UK in the first half of this year increased six times over the same period; while exports to Spain increased almost three times; to France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium increased 45-90%.

Cumulatively in the first 6 months of the year, Vietnam’s Tra fish exports reached over 1.4 billion USD, up 83% compared to the same period last year, and accounted for 1/4 of total seafood export sales. In June 2022, Tra fish exports remained at a high growth rate of 54% compared to the same period, reaching nearly 220 million USD.

Tuna exports in June 2022 reached over 91 million USD, up 43% compared to June 2021. Total tuna exports increased 56% in the first half of the year to 553 million USD, accounting for nearly 10% of total seafood export turnover. Of which, the main product is still loin tuna and frozen tuna, bringing 377 million USD, up 122%.

More than half of the tuna exported is for the high-growth, high-consumption US market. While tuna exports to the US nearly doubled, exports to the EU increased by only 9%, a much more modest increase compared to other markets, mainly driven by increased selling prices.

The IUU yellow card is still making the door to export tuna as well as other seafood products to the EU narrow.

Exports of squid and octopus in June 2022 reached over 68 million USD, up 34% compared to June last year. By the end of the first half of the year, Cephalopoda products brought a turnover of 344 million USD, up 29% compared to the same period last year, accounting for 6% of seafood export sales.

Of which, squid exports reached 197 million USD, up 45%; octopus exports reached 147 million USD, up 12%. Exports of Bivalvia, crab, and other fishes in the first 6 months of this year have all grown at 11-54% compared to the same period.


Regarding the US market, VASEP said that in the first half of this year, the US held the number 1 position among the consumption markets for seafood products, accounting for 23% of Vietnam’s seafood export turnover. The US is also the No. 1 market for Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 21%; tuna exported to the US accounts for an overwhelming 54%. About Tra fish, the US is the number 2 market after China, accounting for 25.6%.

According to the Press Release published on the White House website (USA) on June 27, 2022:

US President Joe Biden has just signed a memorandum of understanding on national security to combat illegal fishing and using forced labor in international waters. Accordingly, the US will cooperate with Vietnam, Ecuador, Panama, Senegal, and Taiwan on combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, referred to as IUU in environmental terms. The plan will be announced by the end of July 2022.

Vietnam’s seafood exports to the US reached nearly 1.32 billion USD in the first 6 months of the year, up 65% compared to the same period last year. It is forecast that seafood exports to the US in 2022 will reach 2.4 – 2.5 billion USD, up 25% compared to 2021.

In the US market, except for shelled krill fell by 10%, and exports of shrimp, Tra fish, tuna, and other key products all recorded high growth compared to the previous year, especially Tra fish with 131% growth compared to the same period.

In the first half of this year, the US held the number 1 position among the consumption markets for seafood products. (Photo: Internet)

VASEP outlined five key factors for a breakthrough in Tra fish exports to the US. These are: the decreased US production of catfish, high inflation, anti-dumping duties in the period of POR17 in favor of many Tra fish enterprises, increased number of Tra fish enterprises allowed to export to the US, and the average export price to the US reached the peak.

Exports of white-leg shrimps and prawns to the US increased by 33% and 29% over the same period last year, respectively. Vietnam is a leading supplier of shrimp to the US market. Total shrimp exports to the US reached nearly 390 million USD, up 32% compared to the same period last year.

For tuna, Vietnam exported mainly frozen loin/fillet tuna to the US, accounting for 74%. In the first five months of this year, tuna exports to the US reached 251 million USD, more than two times more than the same period last year. Loin tuna alone reached 186 million USD, up 184%.


VASEP said that seafood exports to China increased by up to 91% compared to the same period last year with the turnover reaching 925 million USD in six months. The two main products are Tra fish accounted for 48% and shrimp accounted for 35% of seafood exports to the Chinese market.

In particular, lobster exports to China had a breakthrough with a nearly 29 times increase compared to last year; Tra fish exports increased by 124%. In addition to the two main products, the export of most seafood species to China decreased compared to the same period of the previous year such as tuna decreased by 60%, sea fish decreased by 9%, grilled chopped fish and surimi decreased by 25%.

According to Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy Secretary-General of VASEP, Covid outbreaks and consistent attitude to the “Zero Covid” policy of the Chinese government have caused seafood exports to this market to encounter many bottlenecks when many import ports are closed and Covid checks on frozen goods are increasingly strict.

“However, because many factories in China are closed and production is suspended, this market lacks the supply of seafood for domestic consumption. Therefore, the demand for seafood imports from China is increasing, attracting more Vietnamese enterprises to export despite the above challenges, ” Mr.Nam said.

Commenting that the trend of the Chinese market in the coming months will continue to be dominated by the Covid pandemic, however, Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam said that in the long term, Chinese imported seafood will continue to grow.

“As popular seafood, shrimp will be consumed more in households. The supply of shrimp in particular and seafood, in general, has decreased in the past 3 years due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the coming time, the demand for seafood products of the Chinese people will increase”, Mr. Nam forecasts.

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