High demand supports Vietnam shrimp exports

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By Milthon Lujan

Vietnam.- Favorable factors in the first months of the year such as the weather, high yield, high demand and stable shrimp prices facilitated Vietnam’s shrimp production and exports. Vietnam’s shrimp exports in the first two months of 2018 touched US$440.5 million, up 16.5% over the same period in 2017.

In Feb 2018, Vietnam’s shrimp exports reached US$175.7 million, down 2% over the same period last year because this time coincided with the Tet holiday but did not affect the growth of the first two months of this year.

Top 10 main importing markets of Vietnam shrimp included the EU, the U.S, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, Canada, ASEAN, Taiwan and Switzerland, accounting for 88.6% of total shrimp export value of Vietnam. Out of top 8 major markets, except for Japan, exports to all markets remained the positive growth; in which exports to Australia showed the highest rise of 76.2%, followed by South Korea with 40.2%. Exports to Japan in Feb 2018 decreased by 38% due to high inventory so exports to the market in the first two months of this year decreased by US$68.2 million, or down 15.8%, over the same period in 2017.

Exports of whiteleg shrimp still occupied the large share of 69.6% Vietnam’s total shrimp exports, those of black tiger shrimp made up 19.4% and those of marine shrimp picked up 11%. China was the largest buyer of Vietnamese black tiger shrimp with the import value of US$23.3 million in the first two months of this year. Meanwhile, the U.S was the biggest importer of Vietnam whiteleg shrimp with the import value of US$45.8 million in the first two months of this year.

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Compared with Jan-Feb 2017, the proportion of whiteleg shrimp exports increased while the proportion of black tiger shrimp exports decreased. In the first two months of 2018, the value of whiteleg shrimp exports increased by 29% while that of black tiger shrimp decreased by 19% compared to the same period last year.

For whiteleg shrimp, the export value of processed whiteleg shrimp (HS code 16) and live/fresh/frozen whiteleg shrimp (HS code 03) increased by 28% and 29%, respectively. For black tiger shrimp, the export value of processed black tiger shrimp (HS code 16) declined by 38% and that of live/fresh/frozen black tiger shrimp (HS code 03) was down 16%. Exports of dried other shrimp (HS code 03) witnessed the sharpest rise of 178%.

The EU remained as the largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 18.6% of Vietnam’s shrimp exports to markets. Shrimp exports to this market in the first two months of this year hit US$81.9 million, up 11% over the same period last year. Exports to the three main markets in the block (the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium) recorded the double digit growth. Exports to the Netherlands and Germany inched up 62.6% and 42.5% respectively while exports to Belgium were up 31.8%.

The EU is considered as the “most dynamic” importing market of Vietnamese shrimp in 2017. In 2018, exports to this market maintained the upward trend. Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the EU are quite favorable as Indian shrimp (the main competitor of Vietnam in the EU) has difficulties in the EU market and faces the risk of banning imports into the EU. Besides, Vietnamese shrimp has advantage of exports to the EU. In 2017, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the EU were accorded GSP (generalized system of preferences) rights while Thailand and China do not have this advantage. At present, the GSP tariff for Vietnamese frozen raw shrimp (HS code 030617) is 4.2%; that foe processed frozen shrimp (HS code 160521) is 7%.

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In particular, when the upcoming EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into effect, Vietnam will have more opportunities to boost shrimp exports to the EU. As committed, after the entry into force of the Agreement, Vietnamese goods, including shrimp products, will enjoy special preferential tariffs.

Export to the U.S has shown signs of recovery after the continuous decline in 2017. Exports to the U.S in Feb 2018 reached over US$75 million, up 6.6%. Thanks to the growth, the U.S rose to the second rank in top biggest importers of Vietnamese shrimp import after standing at the 4th rank in 2017. Exports to the U.S dropped in 2017 due to the impact of high anti-dumping tax and strong competition with Indian shrimp in the U.S market. Exports to the U.S in early 2018 were on the upward trend thanks to high demand, high consumer confidence and positive economic outlook. In January of this year, the U.S shrimp imports touched 61,716 MT, worth by US$593.2 million, up 20% in volume and 22% in value.

Japan stayed as the third largest shrimp importer of Vietnam, accounting for 15.5% of Vietnam’ total shrimp export turnover to markets. The export value to Japan in the first two months of this year hit US$68.2 million, down 15.8% due to high inventory. Japan is considered as the most stable buyer among major markets of Vietnamese shrimp.

In the first two months of this year, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Australia jumped up 76.2% to eye US$16.6 million. The demand for shrimp in this market remains relatively high and Vietnam expects to export whole shrimp to Australia after the positive assessment of the Australian delegation on the process and quality of shrimp production in Vietnam.

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Source: VASEP

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