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Vietnam says up to half of seafood export contracts cancelled, delayed due to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: A health worker reacts as she sprays disinfectants on a train as a measure against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Hanoi, Vietnam March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Kham

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam’s seafood exporters have seen up to 50% of their export contracts cancelled or delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s seafood exporters association said on Tuesday.

Seafood and other aquatic products, such as farmed fish, are among Vietnam’s top exports to China and Europe, both of which have been hit hard by the virus.

Farmed fish exports to China were halted in January due to travel curbs, and this month clients in other parts of the world started to cancel and delay orders, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors said in a statement.

“Inventories are piling up as exporters’ and processors’ warehouses run out of space, although they have cut prices by 25%-30%,” the association said.

Vietnam’s aquatic product exports in the first two months of this year fell 10% from a year earlier to $989 million, according to government customs data. Its seafood exports fell 2.8% last year to $8.54 billion and accounted for 3.2% of total export earnings.

Vietnam has reported 123 coronavirus cases with no deaths, according to the health ministry.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Tom Hogue