Truong Huu Thong, chairman of the board of directors cum general director of Thong Thuan Co., Ltd., said rumours regarding clients not moving to purchase shrimp or banks and other credit institutions not providing loans has made farmers reluctant to raise shrimp.
According to the executive, the epidemic has so far had a little impact on the country's shrimp exports, with only 20% of the company’s export markets, to places such as Japan, Europe, and the United States, being affected with customers requesting deliveries be slowed down due to the COVID-19.
Despite slower deliveries, domestic raw materials have been unable to meet requirements for factories and export orders, causing plenty of enterprises to face shortages in terms of production materials, Thong noted.
Moreover, large economies such as China and India have begun to scale down their farming due to the pandemic, resulting in global supply sources becoming limited.
He underlined the need to provide farmers with accurate information outlining the positive elements of the current shrimp price in the global market, so that a more upbeat outlook can be placed on the situation.
The fact is that the past few months has seen the country's seafood export market negatively affected by the COVID-19, with the widespread epidemic causing disruptions in production and export activities, especially relating to seafood products.
In response to this situation, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong asked craft associations and enterprises to make more concerted efforts to maintain traditional markets, while seeking new overseas outlets for aquatic products, including brackish shrimp - one of the country's typical products.
In order to stabilise production, Tran Dinh Luan, General Director of the General Department of Fisheries, proposed that relevant agencies should instruct businesses to provide farmers with up-to-date information about market developments to help them stabilise production. In addition, businesses are required to draw up brackish water shrimp farming and processing plans adaptable to saline intrusion and the COVID-19 epidemic situation, to ensure sufficient supply sources of material for production.
Businesses are advised to optimise their production chains to cut overall production costs while applying safe shrimp farming technology to produce a higher quality of raw material, said Luan.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) forecast that the demand for aquatic products overseas will increase again as soon as the COVID-19 outbreak is contained. China and the Republic of Korea that have large shrimp farming areas have mapped out farming plans after the epidemic is brought under control.
According to VASEP, shrimp exports to key markets will remain volatile in the near future, although they are expected to bounce back in June and July.
Yet, VASEP is optimistic about the positive prospects in the global seafood export market moving forward. This is particularly prevalent in the US where retail sales of all kinds of fresh, frozen, and preserved seafood products have sharply increased in the context of the widespread COVID-19 pandemic.