The figure was released at a conference to launch production and business plans for the domestic shrimp industry in 2019 that was held on March 13 by MARD in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, one of large shrimp producers in the country.
The directorate said the industry was expected to achieve a total shrimp output of 780,000 tonnes this year, including 300,000 tonnes of tiger shrimp and 480,000 tonnes of white-leg shrimp.
In 2019, the local shrimp industry would have many opportunities but also face great challenges in export.
The hot weather and salinity can impact farming areas, according to the directorate.
To achieve the goal, Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said enterprises should focus on improving the competitiveness of Vietnam’s shrimp industry.
However, Vietnamese shrimp products still faced various kinds of barriers such as anti-dumping tax and low price of shrimp imported from India. Meanwhile, key markets have strengthened quality control and food safety, including the US, the EU and Republic of Korean markets.
Each year, Vietnam still imports 200,000-250,000 units of white-leg shrimp parents, satisfying 90 percent of the domestic demand.
Meanwhile, the price of Vietnamese shrimp is still higher than other countries because the industry has to depend on imports of food and medicine for shrimp production.
Many farms have not received investment for infrastructure and technology, especially in extensive farming areas. There are still many small-scale farms lacking capital and investment opportunities.
According to the Directorate of Fisheries, the total area of farming brackish shrimp in 2018 reached more than 736,000 hectares, 3 percent higher than the previous year, including 632,000 hectares raising tiger prawn and 104,000 hectares rearing white-leg shrimp. Provinces having increased farming areas include Bac Lieu, Kien Giang, Tra Vinh and Soc Trang.
Total output of brackish water shrimp in 2018 reached more than 762,000 tonnes, a year-on-year surge of 6.3 percent, including 298,000 tonnes of tiger prawn and 464,000 tonnes of white-leg shrimp.
However, Vietnam’s shrimp industry only achieved an export value of 3.6 billion USD last year, a year-on-year reduction of 7.8 percent.
The shrimp exports to some major markets dropped in 2018 against the previous year, including mainland China and Hong Kong (down 28 percent), the EU (down 2.8 percent), the US (down 3.3 percent), Japan (down 9.2 percent) and Taiwan (2.6 percent).
Việt Nam’s shrimp exports grow in 2018
Việt Nam’s shrimp exports are expected to grow in 2018 to a value of more than US$4 billion thanks to free trade agreements, said the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
VASEP said the shrimp sector would make a breakthrough in exporting to 28 European Union countries – enjoying low import tariffs once the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement takes effect – for an estimated export value of $1 billion.
According to VASEP, 2018 ended with shrimp exports failing to meet the business targets. They reached $3.55 billion, down 7.8 per cent from the previous year.
The shrimp industry targeted to gain an export value of US$4.8 billion in 2018 due to the many advantages of exports promotion. These advantages from existing mechanism and policies include a programme on sustainable development of the fisheries economy during 2016-20.
However, shrimp demand of large markets such as the US and Canada decreased due to weather and high inventory volume in Japan, South Korea and the EU. Domestic prices in the second quarter fell by between 20 and 30 per cent, affecting the local market and export value.
At the end of last year, world shrimp prices fell. The supply from shrimp-producing countries such as India, Thailand and Indonesia increased, while inventory in the US was high, meaning Việt Nam could not boost exports to this market.
Inventories in India, Ecuador and Indonesia also increased after China tightened the export of shrimp via informal cross-border gates.
In 2018, Việt Nam’s shrimp exports to its four main markets declined from the previous year. The value of exports to China dropped by 28 per cent; Japan fell by 9.2 per cent. Exports to the EU and the US were down by 2.8 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively. The exports to South Korea and Canada saw slight increases of 1 per cent and 3.5 per cent, respectively.
The EU was still the largest market for exported Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 23.6 per cent of exports with a value of $838.3 million.
Whiteleg shrimp continued to occupy a key position in the market, accounting for 68.7 per cent of shrimp exports, while tiger shrimp accounted for 23 per cent and other types of shrimp 8.3 per cent.
In the first 10 months of this year, shrimp export of Vietnam reached US$2.97 billion, falling by 5.8% compared to the same period in 2017.
Vietnam shrimp exports tend to decrease compared to the same period last year due to lower shrimp prices and import demand from major markets. Domestic shrimp prices in the first months of 2018 were affected by world market factors due to the cold weather, snowstorms in countries like the US and Canada; which made the consumption of shrimps decrease significantly, leading to high inventories in Japan, South Korea and EU.
Whiteleg shrimp still occupied a key position in the structure of total shrimp products exports of Vietnam, accounting for 68.7%, followed by black tiger shrimp at 22.9% and marine shrimp at 8.3%.
In the first 10 months of 2018, the value of whiteleg shrimp exports decreased by 1%, while the export of black tiger shrimp decreased by 7% and that of marine shrimp decreased by 32% compared to the same period last year.
In the structure of whiteleg shrimp and tiger shrimp exports, only processed whiteleg shrimp processed (HS code 16) increased by 7%, while other products fell.
In October this year, Vietnam shrimp exports to major markets fell sharply such as EU (-30.6%), China (-38%), Korea (-18.4%), Japan (- 5%). However, exports to the US increased slightly by 0.8%. Notably, shrimp export to ASEAN increased remarkably by 55% compared to the same period last year.
Exports to EU slightly rose
The EU is Vietnam's largest shrimp import market, accounting for 24.4% of Vietnam's total shrimp exports. In the first two quarters of this year, Vietnam shrimp exports to EU increased strongly in the context of falling shrimp exports to other major markets like the US, China and Japan. However, as in the third quarter of this year, exporting shrimp to this market began to decline. In October this year, shrimp exports to the EU fell sharply by 30.6%, similar to the continuous decrease in three major markets.
However, thanks to good growth in the first 2 quarters, Vietnam shrimp exports to EU market by October this year still increased slightly by 4.4%, reaching US$724.7 million
The UK, the Netherlands and Germany are the three largest import markets for Vietnamese shrimp in the EU. In the first ten months of this year, shrimp exports to England and Germany increased by 19% and 16% respectively, while exports to the Netherlands fell by 1.4%.
Exports to US
The US is the second largest shrimp import market of Vietnam, accounting for 18.2% of Vietnam's total shrimp export value. After the continuous fall from April to July this year, shrimp exports to this market has recovered positive growth in August, September and October. Vietnam shrimp exports to the US in the first 10 months of this year reached US$540.4 million, down by 2.7% compared to the same period in 2017.
The end result of the anti-dumping tax on Vietnamese shrimp during the 12th administrative review period - POR12 (February 1, 2016 - January 31, 2017) is much more positive than previous reviews. This has helped Vietnamese shrimp enterprises feel secure in boosting sales to the US market in the upcoming time, especially the period of good purchasing focus from US importers for the year-end holidays.
In addition, the US-China trade war is also an opportunity for Vietnamese shrimp exporting enterprises to boost export to this market because of high tariffs imposed by China on Chinese goods.
Shrimp prices have started to recover, demand tends to increase at the end of the year, furthermore, exports to the US market has positive signs thanks to the lower shrimp anti dumping duty.
The US Department of Commerce (DoC) recently announced the preliminary results of the 13th Period of Review (POR 13), which reviewed the anti-dumping tariff on shrimp imports from Vietnam.
The DoC concluded that frozen shrimp products of two respondents of Sao Ta Foods JSC (Fimex VN) and Nha Trang Seaproduct Company did not violate anti-dumping regulations from February 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018.
Therefore, preliminary tariffs on those two companies and other 29 local shrimp exporters will stand at zero percent.
The preliminary tariffs serve as a foundation for Vietnamese exporters to obtain the lowest anti-dumping tariffs in the final results of the POR 13, helping the firms thrive in the US market.
With zero-percent antidumping tariffs, Vietnam’s shrimp industry will now have more competitive edge than some other countries in the US market and help to boost Vietnamese shrimp exports to the US.
Export to Japan shows signs of recovery
The export of Vietnamese shrimps to Japan has shown signs of recovery this year, after a 9.2-percent decrease in 2018.
In February, Japan was the only market among the seven largest importers of Vietnamese shrimps posting a rise with a growth rate of 14.7 percent.
The increase was attributed to advantages of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which began taking effect in January.
In addition, the export of shrimps to Japan in 2019 is expected to achieve two-digit growth compared to 2018 as all import tariffs of Vietnam’s aquatic products exported to Japan will be reduced to zero percent within this year thanks to the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement.
Japan is currently the second largest export market for Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 18 percent of the total in value.
The shrimp export value to this market reached 639.4 million USD last year, down 9.2 percent year-on-year.
Export to China witnessed a decline
Contrary to the trend of 2017 with a growth rate of nearly 60%, Vietnam shrimp exports to China in 2018 witnessed a decline. From the 3rd position on Vietnam shrimp import markets in 2017, accounting for nearly 18%, this year, China dropped to the 4th position, accounting for nearly 14% of the total value of Vietnam shrimp export to the markets.
As of November 2018, shrimp exports to China only increased in January and March with the remaining months of export decreased by 2 digits rate. In the first eleven months of 2018, China was the market that recorded the strongest decrease in Vietnam shrimp imports among the main markets importing Vietnamese shrimp. Vietnam shrimp exports to China reached US$449.8 million, down 29.5% compared to the same period in 2017.
China reduced buying due to a lot of inventory from last year and with a drop in shrimp price so this market stopped before making large orders. Moreover, as China increasingly tightens import and export activities through border, the imports and exports of shrimp to China is also somewhat affected.
In 10 years (2008-2017), Vietnam shrimp export to China tended to grow well, with the next year higher than the previous year. China is the fastest growing shrimp market among the major markets importing Vietnamese shrimp during this period.
In terms of products, the proportion of exported tiger shrimp to China is always the highest compared to whiteleg shrimp and marine shrimp. As of November 2018, in the total structure of exported shrimp products to China, whiteleg shrimp accounted for 30.8% while tiger shrimp accounted for 64.7%. Export of black tiger shrimp to China in the first 11 months of 2018 increased by 14% while export of whiteleg shrimp decreased by 43% compared to the same period last year.
China is the 6th largest shrimp import market in the world, accounting for 3.5% of total world shrimp imports in 2017. The demand for importing shrimp for domestic consumption and re-export processing of China is still stable and shrimp is always the product that gains most attention in seafood exhibitions in China.
Vietnam ranked 8th among the main shrimp suppliers to China, accounting for 1.8% of the market share. Vietnam still has to compete with rivals in Asia such as Thailand accounting for 16.1% market share, India accounting for 9.7%, Indonesia accounting for 2% in 2017.
In terms of import prices, the price of shrimp imports from India and Indonesia is always the most competitive. The average import price from Thailand is the highest, followed by the price of Vietnamese shrimp.
With stable demand for shrimp and favorable geographical position, enterprises need to improve product quality and focus more on branding and packaging in accordance with the Chinese market to maintain exports to this market.