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Vietnamese squid exports down. Vietnamese cephalopod exports in the first 9 months of 2019 reached US$428.2 million, down 9.6% over the same period in 2018, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Particularly in September 2019, cephalopod exports reached US$42.6 million, down 25.4% over the same period in 2018.

In September 2019, among the top 6 major importers, cephalopod exports to South Korea, Japan, EU, and ASEAN dropped, only exports to China and the US climbed.

In the first 9 months of 2019, Vietnamese cephalopod exports rose only in January and March, the other months exports fell.

Of the total cephalopod structure of Vietnam, octopus accounted for 51%, and squid represented for 49%. Vietnam still mainly exported live /fresh/frozen cephalopod products (accounting for 71%), while processed products were still low (accounting for 29%).

Of the total structure of exported cephalopod products, dried/salted / live/fresh/frozen octopus (HS 03) increased by 2.2%; dried/baked squid (HS 03) dropped the most by 28.5% over the same period in 2018.

South Korea was still the largest importer for Vietnamese cephalopod, accounting for 39.4% of Vietnam’s total cephalopod exports to markets. In the first 9 months of 2019, cephalopod exports to South Korea reached over US$168.6 million, down 6.2% compared to the same period in 2018. After continuous growth in the first 4 months of 2019, exports this item to South Korea decreased continuously from May to September.

Falling in export prices and unstable consumption demand were one of the factors affecting Vietnamese cephalopod exports to South Korea in the first months of the year. The tariff advantage from the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) partly helped to boost Vietnamese cephalopod exports to this market.

In the structure of Vietnamese cephalopod products exported to Korea, octopus still dominated with 75%, and squid accounted for 25%. South Korea mainly imported cephalopod products from Vietnam such as dried squid (skin off), frozen cleanned processed squid, frozen sushi squid, frozen whole octopus, chilled octopus…

Japan – Vietnamese second largest importer of cephalopod, imported over US$108 million of cephalopod from Vietnam in the first 9 months of 2019, down 0.9% compared to the same period in 2018. After positive growth in July, Vietnamese cephalopod exports to Japan fall continuously in August and September.

The share of Vietnamese cephalopod and octopus exported to Japan was nearly equivalent. In the structure of cephlopod of Vietnam exported to Japan, fresh/frozen squid (HS 03) accounted for the highest proportion.
Vietnam’s main cephalopod products exported to Japan in the first 9 months of this year included various products such as frozen whole squid, squid sliced cut, frozen fillet squid, frozen cuttlefish, cuttlefish pine cut, frozen cuttlefish comb cut, processed cuttlefish, sushi squid, breaded octopus …

EU was Vietnam’s third largest importer of Vietnamese cephalopod accounting for 12% of Vietnam’s total export value of cephalopod to markets. Exports of this item to the EU market in the first 9 months of this year reached nearly US$52 million, down 15.6% over the same period in 2018. Spain, Italia and the Netherlands were the 3 largest cephalopod importers of Vietnam in the EU. In the first 9 months of 2019, exports to Italy and Spain dropped by 18.7% and 2.1% respectively, while exports to the Netherlands were nearly the same compared to the same period in 2018.

The Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is about to take effect, Vietnamese cephalopod exports to the EU will be more favorable due to tax incentives. However, businesses must meet the rule of origin to be able to enjoy these tariff preferences.

Cephalopod exports to the EU continued to be affected by the EU’s IUU yellow card warning. The trend can only be reversed when Vietnam is assessed positively after the EC inspection in November 2019.

Cephalopod exports tended to decline significantly in some major markets such as South Korea, Japan, EU, and ASEAN. It is forecasted that the export situation in the last months of the year will not positive, the cephalopod export value in 2019 is expected to reach about US$626 million, down 7% compared to 2018.