Difficult year awaits shrimp exporters: experts

Thursday, Mar 09, 2023 07:58

Viet Nam’s shrimp exports saw solid growth in 2022 but this year will be challenging, according to experts. – Photo nld.com.vn

Vietnamese shrimp exporters will face a number of challenges this year, including strong competitors from other countries and high production costs, experts have warned.

Viet Nam has around 747,000 hectares of saltwater shrimp farms which produced over 1.08 million tonnes last year. Exports were worth US$4.3 billion, or 40 per cent of the country’s total seafood exports, after rising by 11.2 per cent.

The world’s second largest exporter ships the crustacean to around 100 markets, with Europe, the US, Japan, and China being the biggest ones.

But there would be head winds in 2023, according to Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, told a shrimp industry conference last week in Soc Trang Province.

Global prices having been dropping since mid-2022, and would continue to do so as supply increases, he said.

“Viet Nam’s shrimp also has to compete with strong rivals such as Ecuador and India. In 2023 Ecuador’s white-legged shrimp output is expected at 1.5 million tonnes, double that of Viet Nam’s. The country has geographical advantages and low production costs.”

Vuong Quoc Nam, deputy chairman of Soc Trang People's Committee, a major exporter, said shrimp production has been buffeted by climate change, rising petrol prices and input costs and shrimp diseases.

Experts told the conference that Viet Nam’s shrimp production costs are higher than its neighbours’ since businesses still have to import shrimp seeds.

The issuance of farming area codes to ensure traceability is also limited, and farming households and businesses struggle to acquire land or invest in large-scale concentrated farming areas due to rising land prices.

Deputy Minister of Argiculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said farmers, businesses and authorities need to work together more closely to address industry problems. – VNS

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