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Cuttlefish, Squid And Shellfish Exports Set To Expand

Economics +1 more

VIET NAM - Exports of cuttlefish, squid and shellfish are expected to increase this year as part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's programme to diversify the nation's seafood exports.

Over 120,000 tonnes of shellfish were exported in 2010, earning US$489 million and accounting for 9.7 per cent of seafood exports, according the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Of the total, 100,000 tonnes were unprocessed, accounting for $400 million, or 82 per cent of the total export value.

VASEP's Nguyen Minh Tam attributed the result to the increased efforts by exporters to expand export markets from such traditional customers as the EU and the US to new markets in the Middle East. Vietnamese cuttlefish, squid and shellfish are now exported to 80 markets around the world.

Technical barriers, such as stricter food safety and hygiene requirements, pose challenges to continued growth in exports, however.

Vietnamese exports to the EU must now meet technical requirements developed by the British Retail Consortium, in addition to ISO22000 standards and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, a process control system that identifies where hazards might occur in the food production chain.

For processors, the shortage of raw materials also remained problematic. VASEP was urging the Government to simplify import procedures and reduce import taxes from 10-20 per cent to zero for unprocessed products.