Vietnam Successfully Processes First Batch of Imported Japanese Scallops

processed Japanese scallops

SeafoodMedia reported a significant development in the seafood industry on January 12th. Several Japanese companies have started to experiment with scallop processing in Vietnam since January 8th. This initiative has resulted in the successful processing of the first batch of Japanese scallops into various forms, such as half-shell clams for cooking, sushi-grade clam meat, and raw frozen clams.

This pilot project marks a significant milestone for the Japanese seafood industry, as it seeks alternative processing locations in response to changes in the global market. Each company involved will assess the results to determine the feasibility of expanding clam processing operations in Vietnam. The chosen Vietnamese factory, certified by HACCP, guarantees that the processed scallops meet international export standards, potentially opening up markets beyond Japan, including the United States and Europe.

The decision to process in Vietnam, where labor costs are only 20% to 30% of those in Japan, reflects a strategic shift in response to economic considerations. This move is particularly notable given Japan’s substantial scallop production, which reached nearly 500,000 tons in 2022. Of this, about 140,000 tons were previously exported to China, with 100,000 tons being processed and re-exported from there. However, the halt of all Japanese seafood imports by China in August last year, due to concerns about Fukushima’s nuclear wastewater discharge, has forced Japanese companies to explore new processing markets such as Vietnam.

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