Shrimp exports to major markets drop

Vietnam’s shrimp exports have yet to show any signs of recovery, continuing to fall in November by 15.8% year-on-year to US$304 million, VnEconomy news site reported, citing a report from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

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The report indicated that Vietnam earned a total of US$3.3 billion from shrimp shipments in the year to November, dropping by 6.9% year-on-year.

VASEP attributed the fall to a decline in shrimp prices and low demand for shrimp imports in major markets.

In particular, freezing weather in early 2018 affected shrimp consumption in the United States and Canada, leading to high inventories.

Apart from the global shrimp price seeing a record low, a rise in shrimp exports from multiple countries and the large shrimp inventory in the United States have prevented Vietnam’s shrimp from being shipped to the major market, according to VASEP.

In November this year, Vietnam saw plunges in shrimp exports to the European Union at 36.6%, China at 25.7%, the Republic of Korea at 20.7% and the United States at 2.8%, year-on-year.

Among these shrimp importers, the European Union is Vietnam’s largest shrimp buyer, accounting for 23.8% of the country’s total shrimp exports to foreign markets.

Vietnam is currently competing with India and Thailand to export shrimp to the European Union. The two rivals, however, are reducing their shrimp exports to the EU market due to trade barriers in terms of product quality standards. Further, the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which is expected to take effect in 2019, will smooth the path for Vietnamese shrimp exports, as they will enjoy a preferential tax from the market. Meanwhile, Thai shrimp sellers are still subject to a 20% tax.

Besides this, the United States remained Vietnam’s second largest shrimp importer, making up 18% of its total shrimp exports. After constant declines from April to July in shrimp exports to the U.S. market, Vietnam enjoyed a turnaround in the August-October period this year. However, November this year saw a slight drop in Vietnamese shrimp shipments to the United States at 2.8% against the year-ago period. Vietnam's shrimp exports to the U.S. generated US$593 million in revenue in January-November, inching down 2.7% year-on-year.

VASEP noted that U.S.-Sino trade tensions will offer Vietnam’s shrimp exporters the chance to boost their exports to the U.S. as it might impose a 25% tax on shrimp imports from China.

The country’s revenue from shrimp exports to foreign markets is forecast to amount to some US$3.8 billion this year, down 2% against 2017, according to VASEP.

Saigon Times

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