Japan: Potential market for Vienamese Ceramic Products

Japan: Potential market for Vienamese Ceramic Products

(VLR) (Vietnam Logistics Review) Japan is one of the major export markets of fine art ceramic and porcelain (GSMN) Vietnam (VN). However, the volume of products imported from Vietnam only meets a small part compared to the demand of this market. Improving product quality, expanding markets in Japan opens up many development opportunities for Vietnam's GSMN industry.

Export situation

In 2013, the export turnover of Vietnam's GSMN products to the Japanese market increased by nearly 18.2% compared to 2012 and 2014 also saw a growth. However, in the past 2 years, there has been a slight decrease. In terms of common ground, not only GSMN from Vietnam has shown a sign of decreasing, but also the goods of the same category from other countries have encountered the same situation. The underlying reason is that Japan in this period was experiencing negative growth, having an impact on the whole economy and affecting consumer purchasing power. In 2017, export turnover of ceramics began to rise again and in the first four months of 2018, the turnover also increased by 16.04% to USD 28.4 million. This is a good signal for Vietnamese exporters. GSMN export value to Vietnam market in Japan period 2012 - 2017 (Unit: Million USD) GSMN export turnover to Vietnam market from 2012 to 2017 (Unit: Million USD)

Currently, the structure of GSMN products in Vietnam is divided into three main groups, including fine arts ceramics (HS code 6914); fine art porcelain (HS code 6910); figurines (HS code 6913) and other ceramic and porcelain articles.

Based on the data in Figure 2, it can be seen that in the structure of GSMN products of Vietnam exported to Japan has not changed much over the years. The fine art porcelain goods are always the leading export goods with an average export turnover of about USD 61.2 million. The second item is fine art pottery, especially outdoor ceramics, especially large-sized items such as plant pots, garden ornaments ... However, compared to the export of fine porcelain Technology, this item is still limited, less than 10%. Other goods, though modest, also have potential when turnover increases over the years. Structure of GSMN products exported from Japan to Japan in the period of 2012 - 2016 (Unit: Million USD) Structure of GSMN products exported to Japan in the period of 2012 - 2016 (Unit: Million USD)

About the quality and design of the product

Vietnamese ceramics often havae bold traditional patterns and good firing techniques, so the products are typically thin, light and compact in size. GSM exported by VN belongs to the decorative product line with very short life cycle, so it requires frequent changing of models. Although these products have unique designs, highly artistic are often single, less changed models, produced manually, the ability to meet large orders is very difficult. In addition, traditional craft villages develop mainly based on heirloom experience, with little sharing and exchange of experience. Therefore, GSMN products are also of a small nature, household type production and quality is limited. These shortcomings make the quality and quantity of GSMN products of Vietnam still can not meet the requirements of the Japanese market. Meanwhile, products of competitors such as China and Taiwan are very diverse in design and design.

Japan is a market with very high requirements for product quality, such as the regulations on the standards of heavy metal content, lead content ... according to the Japanese Industrial Standards Law (JIS); or must have the "Ceramic Ware Safety Mark" mark based on voluntary industry standards ... Products entering the Japanese market must be tested for quality with no small cost, but Vietnamese ceramic enterprises are the owners. Being small and small, the investment in satisfactory product quality is not possible for all enterprises, this is also the reason why Vietnam's exported ceramics products are limited in supply.

About the price of products

Although Vietnam's exported GSMN is always in the top 5 in the Japanese market, in terms of price, Vietnam's products are often lower than the prices of similar products of China, Taiwan, and Thailand. Products of Vietnam have been established in the low-price market segment, partly because Vietnamese ceramics products do not have a brand name, no variety of designs and styles, and do not create many unique features. Because of such low prices, GSMN VN products have not received the attention of Japanese consumers due to concerns about product quality. Besides, the production cost that Vietnamese ceramic enterprises have to spend is very large due to outdated technology, low productivity, and high material consumption. Therefore, making profits from export activities have not been highly effective.

About brand and distribution channel

GSMN VN products are mainly produced in small and medium enterprises, so the investment in advertising and building national brands for the industry has not been focused yet. Vietnamese ceramic enterprises still lack market information, are not quick to grasp consumer tastes in order to get more suitable products, and have not invested much in building a brand image. Because there is no brand, the GSMN of Vietnam when exporting to Japan is mainly through intermediaries, brokers with offices in Vietnam, accounting for about 80%. The form of signing contracts directly with Japanese distributors or opening retail stores for Japanese consumers accounts for a small percentage. This is also the reason why GSMN exported products of Vietnam have not been able to negotiate good export prices and have to pay intermediary costs.

Based on this situation, Vietnamese exporters who want to increase the value need to have investment solutions for product quality, from processing raw materials, enameling to burning products to meet management standards. quality management of Japan. In addition, it is also necessary to invest in the design of product designs, to create differentiated products, imbued with traditional and national cultural identity, and to register for protection of the GSMN VN trademark in order to prevent and combat The illegal copying of competitors. Enterprises should also promote a number of trade promotion activities on the Japanese market to introduce products widely to Japanese consumers.

Source: vlr.vn