The Growing Opportunity for Frozen Seafood Importers in the Japanese Market

The Growing Opportunity for Frozen Seafood Importers in the Japanese Market

According to the Vietnam Aquatic Products Processing and Export Association (VASEP), Japan is expected to become Vietnam’s second largest market for imported aquatic products in 2023, after the United States.

The main reason for the decrease in aquatic product exports to Japan is the significant decline in white shrimp and black tiger shrimp exports. However, other products have experienced positive growth in Japan this year. Notably, the export volume of crabs to Japan increased by 36% year-on-year in 2023, making crabs the third largest export product in the market, after white shrimp and salmon. Additionally, the export sales of various fish species to Japan, such as black spotted round catfish, narrow cod, mackerel, bamboo pod fish, flatfish, catfish, and secondary leaf catfish, were higher than last year.

Many of the products that have seen increased exports to Japan this year are processed and exported from imported raw materials. This not only helps to maintain the income of processing workers but also fully utilizes the factory’s production capacity and processing equipment. For example, snow crabs, salmon, and cod have all contributed to this trend.

In the first 11 months of 2023, Vietnam’s cumulative export value of aquatic products to Japan reached 1.38 billion US dollars. This includes 302 million US dollars for white shrimp, 86 million US dollars for black tiger shrimp, over 72 million US dollars for squid, and nearly 70 million US dollars for octopus. The export value of salmon to Japan reached 227 million US dollars, while the export value of crabs reached 87 million US dollars and the export value of black spotted roundhead reached 77 million US dollars. It is expected that the export value of aquatic products to Japan will exceed 1.5 billion US dollars in 2023, a decrease of 12% compared to 2022.

According to the Vietnam Aquatic Products Processing and Export Association, although the economic growth forecast for Japan in 2024 is uncertain, there is not anticipated to be a substantial increase in market demand. However, in comparison to other major markets such as the United States, the European Union, and China, the trade dynamics of aquatic products with Japan are considered to be relatively stable.

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