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Monday, July 15, 2024

Seafood exporters feel growing pinch

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Seafood exporters are facing even greater challenges than during the Covid-19 pandemic due to a significant drop in seafood prices and a decline in fresh orders.

Data from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) showed that Vietnam’s seafood exports between January and May decreased by 28% compared to the same period last year, reaching only US$3.37 million. Companies also reported a sharp decline of 20-50% in fresh orders.

The situation has been exacerbated by falling prices resulting from weak demand, making it increasingly difficult for exporters to settle bank loans and manage their expenses.

The projected seafood exports for this year are expected to reach US$9 billion, which is nearly US$2 billion less than in 2022.

To alleviate the hardships faced by the industry, VASEP has urged the Government to further reduce lending rates and make credit more accessible. Specifically, it is calling for a reduction of interest rates on U.S. dollar loans to below 4% and on Vietnamese dong loans to below 7%.

VASEP has proposed a four to six-month extension of loan repayments and the implementation of a special credit package specifically tailored for small seafood producers.

Furthermore, VASEP suggests that the disbursement of the VND10-trillion stimulus package, currently under consideration for the Mekong Delta region, be expedited so that exporters can begin stockpiling raw materials in advance.

In April, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh instructed the State Bank of Vietnam to consider the implementation of such a package.

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