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Fresh squid in a Japanese market (Photo: Stockfile)

In the first quarter of 2019, cephalopod imports reached nearly 11.7 thousand tons

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Friday, May 24, 2019, 11:50 (GMT + 9)

According to ITC statistics, in the first quarter of 2019, Japanese cephalopod imports reached nearly 11.7 thousand tons worth US$77.6 million, up 11% in volume and 10% in value compared to the same period in 2018.

Cutting red squid loligo for sashimi (Photo: Stockfile)

Processed cuttlefish and squid products were imported most, accounting for 78% of import value. In the first 3 months of the year, Japan sharply increased the import of processed squid products with more than 10 thousand tons with worth US$60.7 million, up nearly 17% in volume and 15% in value. Meanwhile, imports of processed octopus fell by 19% in volume and nearly 13% in value, with nearly 1.5 thousand tons, worth US$15.3 million and accounting for nearly 20% of total imported cephalopod. Frozen squid products accounted for only 2% of total imports, although Japan tended to increase imports of this product with a rise of 941% in volume and 2.090% in value.

Boiled octopus (Photo: Stockfile)

For Japan's main imported product of processed squid, Vietnam was among the top 5 largest suppliers, after China, Thailand and Peru. China accounted for a dominant proportion in this segment with 89% of Japanese import value while Vietnam only accounted for less than 2%. In the first quarter of 2019, Japan increased the import of processed squid from China and Peru, while imports from Vietnam and Spain fell.

Imports of processed squid from Thailand declined sharply in volume (down 22%). However, export value still rose (up 4.8%) due to the average import price increasing by 38% from US$21 to 29/kg.  Processed squid products from Thailand and Spain exported to Japan are priced at an average of US $ 21-29 / kg, significantly higher than China, Vietnam and Peru (US$4.5-6.5/kg). Along with Thailand, Vietnam's average import price also increased by 12% from US$4.7 in the first quarter of 2018 to US$5.3/kg in the first quarter of 2019, while the import price from 3 other supplier decreased.  However, it was not a good sign as the price increase may cause import demand to fall, with the fact that the volume of squid imported from Vietnam has declined by 22%.

For processed octopus products, Vietnam closely followed China with a market share of 44% (China accounted for 47%). The average price of processed octopus from China was US$2 higher than products from Vietnam at US$9/kg. The export volume from those 2 countries to Japan was equivalent (nearly 700 tons). However, the export value of China (US$7.2 million) was higher than that of Vietnam with US$6.7 million.

In the first quarter of this year, there were 48 Vietnamese cephalopod companies exporting to Japan with various products such as frozen whole squid, squid sliced cut, frozen fillet squid, frozen cuttlefish,  cuttlefish pine cut, frozen cuttlefish comb cut, processed cuttlefish, sushi squid, breaded octopus ...

Source: VASEP

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