11 Nov 20 Vietnamplus Source Seafood exports by Mekong Delta provinces are picking up after a lull caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Ca Mau (VNS/VNA) - Seafood exports by Mekong Delta provinces are picking up after a lull caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ca Mau, one of the largest shrimp producing provinces, struggled earlier this year, but exports have been improving recently due to authorities' support and businesses' own efforts.
Shrimp exports in the first 10 months of the year were worth over 783 million USD, 6 percent higher than the same period last year.
Shrimp exports by Bac Lieu province topped 600 million USD, a 5 percent increase.
Huynh Thanh Tan, Director of the Ca Mau Seafood Processing and Service Joint Stock Company, said due to the pandemic prices of raw shrimp were down for a long time, and farmers cut back on production. Recent rains and rising tides also hit shrimp farming, he said.
Shrimp prices are recovering as more businesses are buying, and as a result farmers are resuming farming. Supply is expected to recover by the start of next year.
Nguyen Viet Trung, head of the commerce management division at the Ca Mau Department of Industry and Trade, said the European Union – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) would provide a good opportunity for shrimp exports to the EU.
Shark catfish prices had dropped to 17,000 – 19,000 VND (0.77 USD) per kilo, but are now recovering, and Nguyen Thanh Binh, Director of the Chau Thanh Seafood Production and Service Cooperative in Dong Thap province, said processors were buying it now for exports at 23,000 VND, which gives farmers a profit.
Exports dropped by 28.6 percent in the first nine months of the year, but they are expected to recover by the end of the year due to higher demand, especially during Christmas and New Year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.
Exporters too are focusing on increasing exports, improving product quality and diversifying their product range.
Delta provinces are helping businesses diversify their product portfolio process further to improve value added.
They are also helping businesses better understand and utilise free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed with other countries and blocs, and helping farmers revive production quickly and improve quality.
Vietnam's seafood exports in the first 10 months were worth 6.87 billion USD, and full-year exports are expected to be 8.4 billion USD, a 2 percent decrease from 2019./.