HANOI: Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) has estimated that the country’s total seafood export turnover in the first quarter reached US$1.27 billion, down 23 percent compared to the same period in 2014.
That is the biggest drop in the past five years, VASEP said.
The value of two major Vietnamese export items shrimp and pangasius fell sharply in the first three months, with $348.6 million (down 30 percent year on year) and nearly $225 million (down 18 percent year on year), respectively.
According to VASEP, the local currency in many export markets, especially in Europe, has sharply lost its value against the dollar recently.
As over 90 percent of Vietnamese seafood enterprises choose the U.S. dollar as the currency for payments for their foreign partners, the appreciation of the greenback against other currencies in Vietnam’s export markets, such as the EU, Japan, and Australia, has negatively affected the competitiveness of local enterprises and their goods.
This has forced Vietnamese seafood exporters to lower their prices so as not to lose their customers there.
“Vietnamese enterprises have no choice but to lower their prices so that they can sell their goods easily, or stockpile their shipments in warehouses, waiting for prices to rise,” Duong Ngoc Minh, general director of Hung Vuong Co., told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
“But fluctuations in exchange rates will last for many months ahead, and the problem may not be resolved in the next few months,” Minh said.