HANOI, May 6 (Xinhua) -- The value of Vietnamese seafood exports slumped 28 percent in April from a year earlier to 810 million U.S. dollars due to weakening demand from key markets, Dai Bieu Nhan Dan newspaper reported on Saturday.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said global economic slowdown is taking a toll on Vietnam's seafood exports and rising input prices are weighing on manufacturing activities.
Seafood exports in the first four months of the year plummeted 29 percent from the same period last year to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, according to the General Statistics Office.
Shipments of shrimps, a key earner, posted a year-on-year plunge of 44 percent in the January-April period to 892 million dollars, tra catfish exports tumbled 46 percent to 598 million dollars, and tuna shipments fell 40 percent to 250 million dollars, the VASEP said in an online statement.
Exports to the United States were the hardest hit by slowing consumption, down 57 percent in the first four months from a year before to 418 million dollars as Americans made spending cuts on essentials like food to cope with sky-high inflation, said Le Hang, head of communications for the VASEP.
Shrimp, which normally accounts for up to 45 percent of Vietnam's total annual seafood exports, faced tougher competition from low-priced, no-brand products, especially in the U.S. market, she added.
Seafood exports to China fell 37 percent in the period to 435 million dollars, she said.
The Southeast Asian country has a big challenge to deliver on its seafood export target of 10 billion dollars this year, due to headwinds for its economy and worsening global outlook.
Vietnam's seafood exports last year reach 11 billion dollars for the first time, according to the VASEP. ■