Vietnam’s ‘Product’ Gaining 34 Times Increased Import from China: Expected to Generate Hundreds of Millions USD by 2023, Especially Popular in Cambodia and the US

Vietnam's treasure, this resource boasts an annual yield of over 200,000 tons.



According to data from the General Statistics Office, Vietnam owns an “underwater treasure” which is shellfish. Currently, there are over 41,500 hectares of shellfish farming (mostly two-shelled shellfish) with an annual production of about 265,000 tons, of which clams reach 179,000 tons per year. The shellfish industry value chain is generating employment for about 200,000 workers.

According to statistics from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in 2023, Vietnam’s export of shellfish products reached $127 million, a decrease of 12%. The main shellfish species in Vietnam include clams accounting for 62% of the value, snails 12%, oysters 11%, and scallops nearly 9%. In addition, there are other species including mussels, cockles, abalone, and conch.

Clams are the largest exported product among shellfish products with nearly $79 million, a decrease of 17% compared to 2022. Frozen clams (HS code 16055600) are the main export product with a value of $72 million. For frozen clams in Europe, Vietnamese products always rank first and dominate the market share from 40-80% in major markets.

Source: Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)

Vietnam exports clams to three main markets: Italy, Spain, and Portugal, accounting for a total of 66%. The United States is the 4th largest clam importer from Vietnam, with a decrease of 16%. It is worth noting that in 2023, clam exports to China and Cambodia witnessed a breakthrough. Specifically, exports to China increased 34 times, and exports to Cambodia increased nearly 16 times compared to 2022. These countries mainly import live silk clams from Vietnam. In addition to clams, China also imports whelks and live oysters from Vietnam.

Oysters are an export product with a breakthrough growth in 2023, with an increase of 56% reaching over $14 million, mainly fresh and marinated oysters. Specifically, the Taiwanese market accounts for over 77% with a value of nearly $11 million, an increase of 26% compared to 2022. In addition, Vietnam also exports fresh and marinated oysters to Laos, Cambodia, Japan, etc.

Regarding snails, Vietnam mainly exports whelks, marinated whelks, as well as periwinkle, dog conch, and other species of snail meat. In 2023, exports of snail products reached nearly $16 million, a decrease of 6%. The main consumer markets include Japan, the United States, China, and South Korea. According to VASEP, snail exports to most markets decreased compared to 2022, except for a 47% increase in South Korea with the main products being whelks and seashells.

According to economic experts’ forecasts, the international market demand for clams will continue to rise. Currently, Vietnam has exported two-shelled shellfish to 56 markets, of which the 6 largest import markets are the EU, the United States, Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, and China, accounting for 90% of the total value of Vietnam’s two-shelled shellfish exports. The EU leads the market, accounting for 66% of the total value of this item’s exports from Vietnam.

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