Shrimp exports to China jumped 23% to US$431 million last year. China was the biggest consumer of Vietnam prawn which accounted for 58% of the country’s total shrimp exports to the market.
China also overcame the EU to become the second largest importer of Vietnam tra fish (catfish) with an estimated value of US$305 million, up nearly 90% against 2015.
Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of VASEP, said despite its market instability and risks, China’s shrimp consumption demand tends to increase sharply, particularly now that the income of average Chinese goes up while domestic production capacity seems to grind to a standstill.
It is expected that with the current growth rate, seafood exports to China will surpass US$1 billion this year, Mr Hoe forecast.
However, VASEP said Vietnam seafood exporters will face a number of challenges as raw material prices remain high. Currently, they are around 10-30% higher than those in India and Thailand.