Vietnamese seafood exports to China are surging prior to Chinese New Year
Published: Nov 20, 2022 07:27 PM
Lobster Photo: VCG

Lobster Photo: VCG

Vietnam's exports of aquatic products such as lobsters and pangasius to China, the major destination market, are reaching new highs this year as producers and traders prepare for the upcoming Chinese New Year, a major driving force for such trade, while the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which took effect on January 1, has smoothed trade flows.

The RCEP has given a boost to bilateral trade, and the resilience of the Chinese market continues to provide strong impetus for Vietnam's aquatic product exports, despite weak global consumption, industry experts said.

Vietnam's lobster exports to China increased seven-fold year-on-year, to $179 million in the first nine months of this year, according to VnExpress, and about 90 percent of the country's lobster exports went to China, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

Industry representatives and traders said that the resilient Chinese market has provided strong support to Vietnam's lobster exports.

"China is the biggest market for Vietnamese aquatic products, and products such as lobsters take an important share. The trade often starts in October and reaches its peak in November, a couple of months before the Chinese New Year," Cui He, president of the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Recently, a company in Ho Chi Minh City signed a contract to export 2,000 tons of live lobsters to Kunming, Southwest China's Yunnan Province, the Global Times learned.

China is also the largest export market for Vietnamese pangasius, and exports are doubling every month, according to media reports. In October alone, exports to China reached approximately $64.2 million, a year-on-year increase of 105 percent.

It is estimated that the export value of Vietnamese pangasius will exceed $2.5 billion in 2022, a year-on-year increase of 58 percent. Exports to China will account for 30 percent, with a value of $654 million, a year-on-year increase of 110 percent.

Industry representatives and traders said that, in addition to the booming demand driven by the Chinese New Year, the simplified trade procedures and the future expansion of tariff exemptions under the RCEP framework have contributed to the trade growth.

Vietnam is very active in exporting aquatic products to China, partly due to simplification of trade procedures and relaxation of tariffs since the RCEP took effect, an employee with a large Vietnam aquatic trading company told the Global Times on Sunday. This year's shipping season started slightly earlier than in previous years, probably in September, the employee said.

In order to reduce transportation costs, companies also tend to transport goods by road rather than by air, which takes longer time, he added. The company expects to at least double its exports this year due to the strong demand in China.

Global Times