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Consumer spending growth on seafood to outpace other segments: Fitch Solutions
By Minh Tuan
Wednesday,  May 20, 2020,07:22 (GMT+7)

Consumer spending growth on seafood to outpace other segments: Fitch Solutions

By Minh Tuan

Seafood is sold at a supermarket in Vietnam. Vietnamese consumer spending on seafood products is forecast to increase from US$3.2 billion in 2020 to US$4.9 billion in 2024 – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC - Vietnamese consumer spending on fish and seafood products will grow at an annual average of 12.5% to rise from US$3.2 billion in 2020 to US$4.9 billion in 2024, outpacing the projected growth of overall food spending in the country over this period (11.2%), analysts from Fitch Solutions have forecast.

Per capita spending on fish and seafood by Vietnamese consumers is predicted to reach US$48.8 in 2024, from an estimated US$33.4 in 2020. This growth outlook will benefit foreign exporters of fish and seafood to Vietnam, as imported items currently make up half of the seafood consumed in the country.

According to Fitch Solutions, opportunities will increase for premium fish and seafood imports into Vietnam as incomes in the country continue to rise.

Foreign imports have increased significantly, as a share of total fish and seafood consumption over the past decade, from 18.1% in 2009 to 68.8% in 2019.

Saltwater fish substitute cheaper river fish

Data collected by Fitch Solutions showed that Vietnamese consumers have been substituting cheaper local river fish such as carp and catfish for higher priced, imported saltwater fish.

In 2018, Vietnam exported US$2.2 billion worth of carp and catfish, a 29.8% increase over the US$1.6 billion worth of products it exported in 2012. At the same time, the country imported US$1 billion worth of saltwater fish in 2018, a 150% increase over the US$413 million import value recorded in 2012.

The most popular varieties of saltwater fish imported by Vietnam (in order of popularity) are mackerel, tuna, anchovies, trout, salmon and skipjacks.

Besides this, octopuses and squid, which tend to be more expensive compared with other seafood products, have recorded an increase in imports versus other fish and seafood products over the last decade, rising from 7% in 2010 to 10.1% in 2019.

Fitch Solutions’ experts noted that three groups of foreign seafood exporters will benefit the most from the increased spending by Vietnamese consumers in this segment.

They include nations that are both the world’s largest seafood exporters and are already Vietnam’s top seafood import partners (China, Norway, India, Chile, the United States and Russia); nations that are Vietnam’s top seafood import partners (Japan, Indonesia and South Korea); and nations that are the world’s top seafood exporters but currently play a smaller role or no role in Vietnam’s seafood import market (Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden and Ecuador).

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