According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), shrimp exports to such big markets as the US, Japan, the EU, and China have been struck by a considerable drop due to falling demand.
The situation occurred not only in Vietnam but also in other markets due to a plunge in global shrimp prices, the VASEP said.
Nguyen Thi Bich, head of the VASEP’s external information channel, said Vietnamese shrimp has been present in 96 markets worldwide, with the US, Japan and the EU being the most important ones.
Currently, Vietnam still remains the leading supplier of tiger prawns to the Japanese market despite fewer orders, sparked by economic recession, from the importer since 2014, she noted.
In the US market, Vietnam ranks third among the exporters. However, it is facing fierce competition from Indonesia and India.
Meanwhile, in the EU, Vietnam is the fourth largest shrimp supplier. The recent signing of a free trade agreement with the Union is expected to create a competitive edge for Vietnamese shrimp in the coming time.
Jiro Takeuchi, Director of the Uhrenholt global seafood company, said after Thailand, Vietnam is the sole country being capable of competing in the segment of shrimp products with high added value.
Nevertheless, Vietnam needs to strictly manage the shrimp preservation and improve the system to trace the origin of the products for sustainable development, he suggested.
Deputy Managing Director of the Vietnam – Australia Group Dang Quoc Tuan said despite a number of setbacks, the local shrimp industry still has many growth opportunities through promoting clean production, tracing product origin, and ensuring large, stable breeding.
Antibiotics and chemicals should not be used and requirements from tough markets such as the US, Europe, and Japan, should be stringently observed, he recommended.
According to the Vietnam General Department of Fisheries, high-quality products meeting food safety are much sought after in many markets across the globe.
Therefore, organic products with competitive prices will be a solution for the local shrimp sector towards sustainable development.
Vietnam is now home to over 708,000 hectares of brackish shrimp breeding, which give a yield of over 657,000 tonnes.
The VASEP forecasts that from now to the yearend, if the market situation is not improved, Vietnam could rake in only US$3.2 billion from shrimp export, a year-on-year drop of 17%.