Cephalopod exports in the first 6 months of this year reached US$288.6 million, down 3.3% compared to the same period in 2018. Exports to major markets such as South Korea, Japan, and the US increased slightly, but exports to other main markets such as EU, ASEAN, and China fell sharply.
In the first six months of this year, Vietnamese cephalopod exports only increased in the two months (January and March), and fell in the other months. In June, the export of Vietnamese cephalopod decreased by 2 figures at 23.7%. In the top 6 main importers, only export of Vietnamese cephalopod to the US increased by 43.6%, meanwhile exports to other markets such as Korea, EU, ASEAN and China all fell by 2 figures, exports to Japan dropped slightly by 2.7% compared to the same period in 2018.
In the total structure of Vietnamese cephalopod exports, octopus accounted for a higher proportion at 52.3%, squid accounted for 47.7%. Vietnam still mainly exported live/fresh/frozen squid and octopus products (accounting for 72%), processed products exports were not much (accounting for 28%).
In the total structure of cephalopod exports, dried/salt/live/fresh/ frozen octopus (HS 03) had a strongest growth at 17%; Dried/baked squid (HS 03) dropped the most by 29% over the same period in 2018.
South Korea was still the largest importer of cephalopod of Vietnam, accounting for 42% of Vietnam’s total squid and octopus exports to markets. In the first 6 months of this year, cephalopod exports to South Korea reached over US$120 million, up 9.1% over the same period in 2018. After continuous growth in the first 4 months of this year, exports this item to South Korea in May and June slipped by 3.4% and 28.7% respectively. Falling export prices and unstable demand were one of the factors affecting Vietnam’s cephalopod exports in the last two months of the second quarter of 2019. Tariff advantages from the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and Korea (VKFTA) partly help to support Vietnamese cephalopod exports to this market.
Japan, the second largest importer of Vietnamese cephalopod, imported more than US$74 million cephalopod products from Vietnam in the first 6 months of 2019, up 8.6% over the same period in 2018. After increasing by 16.5% in May 2019, cephalopod exports to Japan fell slightly in June by 2.7% to US$12.8 million.
The CPTPP Agreement, officially came into effect from the beginning of this year, will facilitate export of cephalopod to Japan in the time to come.
EU was the 3rd largest importer of Vietnamese cephalopod, accounting for 11.4% of Vietnam’s total squid and octopus export value to markets. Exports of this product to EU market in the first 6 months of 2019 reached US$33.8 million, down 14.5% compared to the same period in 2018. Italy, Spain and the Netherlands were the three largest importers for Vietnamese cephalopod in the EU. Exports to Spain and the Netherlands rose by 3.6% and 32.4% respectively, while exports to Italy declined by 20.7% compared to the same period in 2018.
In the context of the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and EU (EVFTA) came into effect, Vietnam’s export of cephalopod to the EU shall be more easier due to tax incentives. According to commitments in EVFTA, some processed cephalopod products currently have a relatively high basic tax rate (20%), which will be reduced immediately to 0%. Most of frozen cephalopod products that have a basic tax of 6-8% will be reduced tax immediately to 0%. Yet, enterprises must meet the requirements of origin to be able to enjoy these tariff preferences.
Among the main markets, export of Vietnamese cephalopod to China dropped the most by 52.6% to nearly US$11.6 million as of June 2019 due to the fact that Vietnam must compete with many cheap suppliers on the market. In addition, the deep fall of CNY currency; China tightened control of imports as well as trade activities via unofficiall route were also one of the factors affecting export of Vietnamese cephalopod to China.
In the top 6 major importers, the US was the only market that recorded positive growth. In the first 6 months of this year, cephalopod exports to the US increased nearly 60% to US$7.1 million. The US-China trade war escalated, the US increased 25% tax on some cephalopod products imported from China, creating more opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises exports to the US.