Russian Importers In Boom Market For Vietnamese Agriculture, Aquaculture Products

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By Chris Devonshire-Ellis

Seafood Imports Into Russia From Vietnam Up 72% In 12 Months 

Statistics from the Vietnam’s Customs showed that in the first five months of this year, Vietnam exported 21,300 tonnes of aquatic products to Russia, a 72% increase in volume over the past twelve months in business valued at US$72 million.

Russian importers have been taking advantage of the Vietnam- Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (VN-EAEU FTA).

Of the aquatic produce, frozen shrimp had the largest export value, with 2,000 tonnes, worth US$18.4 million shipped to Russia. That is an increase of 69.6% in volume and 72.9% in value over 2020’s figures. Exports of frozen Octopus and Pangasius (Catfish) also saw strong growth.

It is a similar trend on agriculture. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020 the export turnover of vegetables and fruits to Russia rose 58.7% compared to the previous year to reach US$54.4million. It has grown again in 2021, reaching US$26.2million in the first four months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 32.4%.

According to the Vietnamese Export-Import Department (part of the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade), Russia has been a traditional export market for Vietnam since the 1990s,  especially for agricultural products such as coffee, pepper, tea, and vegetables.

The Vietnam-EAEU FTA covers more than 90% of all traded tariff lines between Russia and Vietnam, of which 59.3% have been reduced to zero. This is a huge opportunity for Russian enterprises who import farm produce to the Russian market.

Since the agreement took effect in 2016, Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exports to Russia have grown at an average 20% per annum.

To maintain growth and improve the market share of Vietnam’s agricultural and aquatic products to Russia and EAEU countries, we recommend that Russian importers regularly update information on the implementation of the VN-EAEU FTA, with a focus on ensuring the reputation and quality of imported products. This can be done in Vietnam, where assistance with market research, sourcing, contractual agreements and so on can be assisted by Dezan Shira & Associates three offices in the country.

Meanwhile, total trade between the EAEU and Vietnam reached about US$6.2 billion last year, up 11.7% compared to 2019.

That trend is continuing; in the first six months of 2021, Vietnam’s trade turnover with EAEU member countries is estimated to have reached US$2.7 billion, an increase of 14.9%. Vietnamese exports to the EAEU overall reached US$1.66 billion, a year-on-year rise of 31.3%.

We reported on increases in Russia imports of Vietnamese agricultural produce earlier in the year here and about increases of Vietnamese meat imports here.

Please contact Maria Kotova at for assistance in Russian-Vietnam trade.

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During these uncertain times, we must stress that our firm does not approve of the Ukraine conflict. We do not entertain business with sanctioned Russian companies or individuals. However, we are well aware of the new emerging supply chains, can advise on strategic analysis and new logistics corridors, and may assist in non-sanctioned areas. We can help, for example, Russian companies develop operations throughout Asia, including banking advisory services, and trade compliance issues, and have done since 1992.

We also provide financial and sanctions compliance services to foreign companies wishing to access Russia. Additionally, we offer market research and advisory services to foreign exporters interested in accessing Russia as the economy looks to replace Western-sourced products. For assistance, please email or visit