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The export of lobster to the Chinese market has experienced a remarkable surge, increasing by 27 times compared to previous levels

22/03/2024 09:39

As the primary importing market for Vietnamese lobster, in the first two months of the year, lobster exports to China experienced a remarkable surge.

According to information from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), seafood exports increased by 13% in the first two months of 2024 compared to the same period last year, primarily driven by a remarkable 64% surge in January.

Many key seafood products have seen positive growth rates, with white-leg shrimp up by 18%, tuna by 21%, catfish by 6.5% and  prawn by 9%.

Notably, lobster exports reached nearly $30 million, increasing 18 times compared to the 1.6 million USD of the same period last year. Of this, green lobster exports accounted for over 90%, totaling $27.6 million, an 80-fold increase, followed by spiny lobster exports at $2.15 million, a 45-fold increase compared to the same period.

China remains the largest import market for Vietnamese lobster products, with a value of nearly $29 million, marking a 27-fold increase from the same period last year.

Since October 2023, China has suspended the import of Vietnamese spiny lobsters due to regulations related to its Wild Animal Protection Law. To resume lobster exports to China, exporting enterprises must demonstrate that the lobster seedlings are not directly caught from the sea, provide clear evidence of the breeding process, and refrain from using naturally sourced seedlings, meaning they must be F2 generation; the importing unit must have a license...

To resolve these issues for businesses, on January 20, 2024, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam led a delegation from the Ministry to work with the local government of Guangdong Province (China) on agricultural trade development cooperation. In the related work content, the two sides agreed to collaborate in resolving issues in the import and export of sturgeon and spiny lobsters under special mechanisms and include them in the protocol between the two countries. While awaiting the signing of the protocol, China is considering creating a special mechanism for registered facilities to export lobsters to the country.

Currently, lobster exports to China are showing favorable trends, but in the long run, efforts should be made towards official exports. To achieve this, it is necessary to establish supply chains from production and procurement to export, linked with transparent source tracing.

In China alone, Vietnam currently has 46 packaging facilities exporting lobsters to this market.

Khanh Hoa is the largest lobster farming and exporting locality in the country. At present, the province has established three supply chains between farmers and enterprises engaged in the purchase and export of official lobsters. However, compared to the scale of lobster farming, the number of supply chains is still very limited. Therefore, the province's agricultural sector is implementing many effective solutions to build supply chains.

To increase the quantity of exported lobsters, aiming for official exports, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Khanh Hoa province advises lobster farmers to actively monitor market information, plan production accordingly, and comply with the regulations and requirements of importing countries regarding source tracing.

In addition to China, Vietnam also exports green lobsters and spiny lobsters to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, and land lobsters to the US.



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