Vietnam seafood exports set to rise 7 pct

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Seafood exports are poised to hit US$4.5 billion this year, up 7 percent from 2009, as global demand surges, says a senior agriculture ministry official.

Exports in the first eight months approached the $3 billion level, an increase of 12 percent from the same period last year, said Luong Le Phuong, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

There were sharp increases in exports to new markets in the Middle East and South America, with Saudi Arabia up 28 percent and Mexico, 20 percent.

Phuong said global seafood demand will continue to rise in final months of the year.

Vietnam exported around $4.2 billion worth of seafood to 35 markets last year. Japan and the US were the main buyers, accounting for 18 percent and 16.7 percent of total exports respectively.

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