Shrimp breeders enjoyed a bumper crop and high prices in the first quarter of this year. Favourable weather made a good impact on productivity while strong market demands and stable world market prices supported domestic production and exports.
The country’s seafood exports are estimated at 441,500 tons valued at US$1.67 billion in the first quarter of this year, up 8.73% in volume and 11.2% in value against the same period last year, of which shrimp exports ranked second in terms of volume but first in value.
The EU, the US, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Canada, ASEAN, Taiwan, and the Switzerland were top ten importers, which accounted for 88.6% of Vietnam’s total shrimp export value. All of these markets, except Japan, obtained a positive growth with Australia seeing the highest growth of 76.2%.
The EU, Japan and China were the three largest consumers of Vietnamese shrimps late last year, but, the placed orders have changed with the US rising to the second place, followed by Japan and China. The EU remained the biggest importer, making up 18.6% of the country’s total shrimp exports with US$81.9 million in the first two months of this year (up 11% over the same period last year).
Being considered the most dynamic market of Vietnamese shrimps in 2017, exports to the EU have further maintained an upward trend this year. Currently, shrimp exports to the market enjoy many advantages as Indian shrimps known as its key competitor are loosing favour due to overuse of antibiotics and facing threats of an import ban. As a result, Vietnamese products are chosen to replace Indian shrimp.
Besides, Vietnamese products are enjoying the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) tariff from the EU with 4.2% for frozen shrimp and 7% for frozen processed shrimp. Meanwhile, two other big competitors - Thailand and China do not get the EU’s GSP.
Particularly, the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which is coming into force will create more opportunities for Vietnam to boost shrimp exports to the market.
Shrimp exports to the US show a signs of recovery after constant decline last year. Exports to the market rose 6.6% to more than US$75.07 million in the first two months of this year. The growth helps the US rise from the fourth last year to the second place among world leading importers. Exports to the country tend to inch up thanks to good consumption, increasing consumers’ trust and positive economic prospect.
Japan is the third largest consumer of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 15.5% of the country’s total exports with US$68.2 million in two months of 2018, down 15.8%. Its consumption demand is highest among key importers. Domestic exporters have improved product quality and processing methods to attract more Japanese customers.
In the same period, Australia imported US$16.6 million worth of Vietnamese shrimp products. With high import demands, Vietnam has seen excellent prospect to increase shrimp exports to the market, especially with Australian experts’ positive evaluation of product quality after their recent working visit to Vietnam.