Seafood Consumption Trends in 2023

Bởi Meksea Team - November 29, 2023

MEKSEA.COM – Until the end of October 2023, Vietnam’s seafood exports reached 7.43 billion USD, a 21% decrease compared to the same period last year. Examining the main product groups, exports of vannamei shrimp, black tiger shrimp, pangasius, tuna, octopus, crab, and cuttlefish all declined compared to 2022. However, analyzing individual species reveals positive trends for many seafood products this year.

While exports of vannamei shrimp decreased by 24%, and black tiger shrimp decreased by 22%, scampi exports grew by 21% to reach 103 million USD, driven by strong demand in the Chinese market. This product continues to have significant demand in China, especially towards the end of the year, serving the recovering restaurant and hotel segments in the country. Additionally, dried shrimp (dried krill) saw increased orders from countries such as South Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. As of the end of October, exports of this product increased by 20% compared to the same period, reaching over 17.4 million USD.



Despite a 29% decrease in pangasius exports compared to the same period last year, certain pangasius products remain popular in various markets. Notably, dried pangasius fish maw brought in a value of over 72 million USD, a 43% increase from 2022. The export of pangasius fish maw to China experienced significant growth, accounting for 80% with a value exceeding 57 million USD, a 56% increase from the same period in 2022. Other markets such as Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the United States also showed strong demand for this product. Additionally, products like surimi smoked pangasius, and breaded pangasius fillets experienced export growth ranging from 50% to 300% compared to the previous year.

For tuna, exports until the end of October 2023 decreased by 22%, mainly in the frozen fillet/loin segment (-41%). However, canned tuna showed a promising trend with a positive growth of 7%, reaching 205 million USD. Tuna exports in cans to Israel, South Korea, and many European countries experienced substantial growth in the range of two to three digits. Specifically, canned tuna in oil increased by 16%, generating 124 million USD in sales over the ten months.

Several marine fish species within the product range that source raw materials for processing showed higher export results compared to the previous year. Pollock, cod fish, yellowtail achieved higher export values, reflecting the diversification of seafood processing activities and the shift of processing operations from China to other countries. As of October, cod fish exports increased by 30%, while yellowtail exports increased by 50%.


Christmas order - Meksea at global seafood expo (1)


Other fish species also experienced significant export growth, including a 19% increase in tuna, a 40% increase in catfish, a 95% increase in grouper, a 244% increase in barramundi, and a 32% increase in ray fish.

It is evident that the inflationary context of 2023 has driven increased demand for affordable seafood products, while premium seafood has seen a decline. This is a common trend in most major markets such as the United States, the European Union, Japan, and South Korea.

For the Chinese market, there is a more optimistic trend as trade returns to normalcy after the end of the Covid pandemic. China’s demand for a diverse range of seafood products has increased, catering to different market segments. The market has also witnessed new trends compared to previous years, such as the booming market for seafood hot pots and the popularity of catfish cooked with pickled vegetables. The demand for sustainable seafood has also sharply risen. These changes in the market require businesses to reconsider China as a potential destination with increasingly stringent requirements for quality and source traceability.

Read more: What are you looking for for Christmas orders?

In general, markets are recovering slowly, so seafood exports have not yet experienced a breakthrough in the coming months. Although October is typically a peak month, the value of seafood exports is still 9% lower than in the same period, reaching 825 million USD, lower than the peak value of 859 million USD in August.

With this trend, by the end of 2023, seafood exports are expected to reach around 9 billion USD, a 21% decrease compared to 2022.

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By Hayati (Meksea Team)


(Reference: VASEP)

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