Vietnam shrimp exports to Korea to increase by 30% in 2019

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By Milthon Lujan

South Korea ranked 5th in importing shrimp from Vietnam, accounting for 10.9% of total shrimp export value of Vietnam. In 2018, Vietnam shrimp exports to Korea reached US$385.8 million, up 1% compared to 2017. With stable demand, high export prices and tariff preferences through the Korea – Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement compared to its competitors, Vietnam still has many opportunities to boost shrimp exports to this market in 2019.


In the first half of 2018, Vietnam shrimp export to Korea grew positively in all months. During the second half of the year, Vietnam shrimp exports to Korea decreased. Shrimp prices on world and domestic markets fell, while world supply of shrimp rose, affecting the export of Vietnam shrimp to Korea in the second half of 2018.

In 2018, in the structure of Vietnam’s shrimp products exported to Korea, whiteleg shrimp accounted for the largest proportion at 85.5% whereas, the proportion of black tiger shrimp accounted for only 6.2%. In particular, live/ fresh/ frozen whiteleg shrimp (HS03 code) accounted for the highest value of all Vietnamese shrimp products exported to Korea. The export price of peeled and tail-on whiteleg shrimp with sizes such as 21/15, 51/70, 71/90, 91/110, 100/200 ranging from US$7.2-9.5 /kg.


According to ITC statistics, in 2018, importing shrimp to this market reached nearly US$ 650.8 million, up 7.2% compared to 2017.

Vietnam was the largest supplier of shrimp to Korea accounting for an overwhelming 58% market share while other competitors such as Thailand accounts for 11.2%, Ecuador acounts for 10.5%, and China accounted for 4.8%. Among the largest shrimp supplies to Korea, shrimp imports from Vietnam and Ecuador progressed while imports from Thailand and China dropped compared to 2017.

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In the Korean market, Vietnam must compete on shrimp price with China, India and Ecuador . However, Vietnam was subject to the lowest import tax (10%) compared to other rival suppliers such as China (20%), India (12.5%), Ecuador (20%) and Thailand (10%). ).

It is expected that Vietnam will export about US$500 million to Korea in 2019, a progress of 29.5% compared to 2018.


Source: VASEP

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