Shrimp firms cash in on higher demand and price

Friday, Jul 26, 2013 09:00

Shrimp exports in the first half of this year amounted to US$1.1 billion, a rise of 8.6 per cent over the same period last year.—Photo diéndandautu

HA NOI (Biz Hub)— Shrimp exports in the first half of this year amounted to US$1.1 billion, a rise of 8.6 per cent over the same period last year, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The major import markets including Japan, the US, China and Canada saw a rapid increase in price, which contributed a lot to the overall rise in export value.

Domestic shrimp production has also recovered from the damage caused by the outbreak of diseases in 2012, which are presently being eradicated, according to the association.

While Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) still badly affects many other Asian countries such as Thailand, which has forecast that the country's shrimp output will fall by 50 per cent over last year. This provides opportunities for Vietnamese shrimp producers to make a breakthrough, added the association.

Exports to Japan, the biggest importers of Vietnamese shrimp, have recovered and are expected to reach $293.9 million in the first six months of this year, a rise of 6.6 per cent.

The export price for some varieties of shrimp destined for the Japanese market has also jumped by 35 per cent due to demand outstripping supplies of the crustacean.

Shrimp exports to the US also rose by 22.4 per cent over the same period last year and are estimated at $253.3 million.

However, difficulties remain for shrimp exports to some markets such as South Korea with the application of the Ethoxyquin test or to the US, that applies an anti-subsidies tax.

Industry insiders have urged Vietnamese businesses to try and expand their current markets in North America, the Middle East and Asia.

China, with its huge population holds a vast potential market for Vietnamese shrimp exports. In the first quarter of this year, China passed the EU to become the third largest importers of Vietnamese shrimp, with a monthly growth rate of 7.3-9.7 per cent.

Experts also predict that China will continue to be the world's biggest importer of seafood for the next 10 years, with a potential import value of up to $20 billion.

In the first five months of this year, shrimp exports to China are estimated at $108.5 million, an increase of 17.9 per cent over the same period last year.

Malaysia also has a lot of untapped potential as the country's supplies of shrimp fell from 90,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes in the year's first quarter due to diseases, forcing the country to import shrimp to meet consumer demands.

Truong Dinh Hoe, chairman of Vasep, has forecast that shrimp exports will hit $2.4 billion for the full year, 6.5 per cent higher than last year.

He urged exporters to work closely with farmers to ensure supplies of high quality shrimp, which will help to overcome technical barriers set by overseas import markets.

Viet Nam mainly exports white shrimp and black tiger shrimp, which made up 41.3 and 50.8 per cent of total export turnover respectively. — VNS

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