Shrimp – a key hard currency earner

(VOV) -Vietnamese shrimp businesses enjoyed unprecedented success in 2013, with their export earnings reaching US$3 billion for the first time.

Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Chairman Tran Thien Hai said the figure far exceeded the US$2.4 billion target set earlier this year, and contributed 44% of the fisheries sector’s total export value.

The high export value was driven by high prices of shrimp on the global market following a 15% fall in volume caused by early mortality syndrome (EMS).

The emergence of white-legged shrimp farming also contributed to export windfalls, totalling US$1.4 billion in 11 months. Prawn exports conversely earned US$1.2 billion.

China also increased Vietnamese shrimp imports due to shrimp shortages in the country affected by EMS. The mainland purchased US$349 million worth of shrimp over 11 months in 2013, ranking its Vietnam’s third largest consumer.

VASEP forecasts 2014 will be a much tougher year for Vietnamese shrimp businesses after Chinese and Thai competitors recover from the effects of EMS.