Vietnam: Shrimp export, a good start of this year

At the beginning of 2011, Vietnamese shrimp export has shown signal of a promising year with high growth in volume, value and average export price.

According to Vietnam Customs, at the first half of January 2011, shrimp enterprises have exported 7,185 MT of shrimp to global markets, worth US$66 million, up 37 percent and 56 percent, respectively compared to the same period last year. This is the most impressive start since 2007.

Vietnamese shrimp export is being fuelled by a low supply in the global market, especially big-sized shrimp as well as white leg shrimp which are key items of Vietnam. Although Vietnamese whiteleg shrimp products are not really popular at the importing markets, there are positive development signs.

In 2010, whiteleg shrimp export accounted for 20 percent of domestic shrimp export value, contributing considerably to the total value of shrimp export with over US$2 billion. In the first half of January this year, the proportion of whiteleg shrimp export has increased by nearly 23 percent in volume with 1,968 MT, valued at US$15,078 million, up 40 percent and 64 percent, respectively compared to the same period of 2010.

Black tiger shrimp export reached 4,112 MT, valued at US$42.3 million, up 53.4 percent in volume and 67 percent in value compared to the same period last year. Black tiger shrimp accounted for 64 percent of total shrimp export value, however, compared to 2010, this proportion tends to decrease.

Shrimp export is still at the highest proportion of the total seafood export value of the country with 35.7 percent. The average export price is 9.17 USD per kg, up 14 percent compared to the same period last year. This continues to be a major factor giving a boost to shrimp export in the upcoming time.

It is expected that in several upcoming months, shrimp export will continue to maintain its positive growth because the demand of foreign customers is still strong, however, shrimp export is facing difficulties of supply because key shrimp farming provinces have finished the main harvesting season and prepared for the next one.

A major obstacle to shrimp export is concerned with quality problems. Recently, Japan continued to warn Vietnam shrimp exporters about residues of chloramphenicol and trifluralin. Besides, the “fight” against foreign matter injected shrimp is full of hardships which make exporters sometimes “surrender” to quality of their output.

Hopefully in 2011, with the guidances of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as drastic and unified implementation of inspection and closely monitoring measures of the quality management agencies, along with the determination and efforts of the shrimp enterprises, Vietnamese shrimp will gradually regain its reputation in the leading markets such as Japan and Australia.

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