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Vietnam shrimp exports started to reverse

(11/28/2019 12:00:00 AM)

In the first seven months of 2019, Vietnam shrimp export reached US$ 1.8 billion, down 8% compared to the same period in 2018. The downward trend has slowed down thanks to positive export growth in July. Vietnam shrimp export is expected to reach more positive results in the last months of the year.

In July 2019, for the first time since the beginning of the year, Vietnam's shrimp export has achieved positive growth. Particularly in July 2019, shrimp export reached over US$ 334 million, up 13.4% over the same period in 2018.

Prices of raw shrimp and export shrimp no longer fell sharply like in the first months of the year and tended to increase, market demand was more exciting as one of the factors that helped Vietnam shrimp export to grow positively in July, 2019.

In the first seven months of this year, in the structure of shrimp products export of Vietnam, white leg shrimp accounted for 68.2%, black tiger shrimp accounted for 21.6% and the rest were marine shrimp. Export of white leg shrimp reached US$ 1.2 billion, down 7% compared to the same period last year; Export of black tiger shrimp reached nearly US$ 383.7 million, down 15%; Export of other marine shrimp reached US$ 181 million, up 5%. Export of processed black tiger shrimp dropped the most by 34%. Exported canned sea shrimp increased the most by 57%.

In July 2019, Vietnam's shrimp exports to the top 8 main import markets (including the EU, Japan, the US, China, South Korea, Canada, Australia, Taiwan) all grew positively. Notably, shrimp exports to EU and South Korea also recorded the first month of positive growth after registering continuous negative growth since the beginning of this year. Export to China and the US grew well, reaching the double-digit level.

EU market

In July 2019, the export of shrimp to EU - Vietnam's largest shrimp import market was over US$ 77 million, up by 3.8% compared to July 2018. In the three main import markets of Vietnam shrimp in the EU (England, Germany, the Netherlands), exports to England and Germany increased by 12.9% and 13% respectively, while exports to the Netherlands fell 12.8%. In the first 7 months of this year, shrimp export to EU reached US$ 377.5 million, down 21.3% compared to the same period last year.

The EVFTA between Vietnam and the EU has officially signed from June 30, 2019, whereby the import tax on most raw shrimp (fresh, frozen, chilled) imported into the EU will be reduced from the basic tax rate of 12 - 20% to 0% as soon as the agreement comes into effect (from 2020), however, the import tax on processed shrimp will be 0% after 7 years from the entry into force of the agreement.

Vietnamese shrimp exported to EU are mainly processed shrimp. For this product, Vietnam has few competitors, mainly Thailand and Indonesia. Processed shrimp have a high tax rate without GSP (from about 10-20%), thus, Vietnamese competitors will be difficult to compete on price. In EU region, the income per capita is high. The more convenient products are, the more popular the market is for Vietnamese shrimp companies to select the seafood distribution systems within their supply.

EU accounts for about 31% of total world shrimp imports and 23% of Vietnam's shrimp exports. If Vietnam can take advantage of tariff preferences, effective application of rules of origin, Vietnam shrimp exports to the EU will have an opportunity to increase from 2020. However, export to this market in the second half of the year cannot recover.


Export of Vietnamese shrimp to Japan in July 2019 increased 2.2% to nearly US$ 56 million. Shrimp exports to this market, increased continuously in the three months of May, June and July. In the first seven months of this year, shrimp export to this market reached nearly US$ 329 million, down 2.8% compared to the same period in 2018.

Japan remains the second largest shrimp import market of Vietnam in the first 7 months of this year. Thanks to the advantages of the trade agreements between Vietnam and Japan, exporting Vietnam shrimp to Japan in the first half of this year is more positive than other main markets.

 The US and China

Vietnam shrimp exports to the US in July this year increased by 37.2% to US$ 77 million. In the first 7 months of this year, shrimp export to this market reached US$ 327.4 million, up 5%.

Demand for US shrimp imports from Vietnam is warming up due to declining inventories while the US is also reducing imports from India and Thailand and sharply decreased imports from China.

Exporting of Vietnamese shrimp to the US is expected to achieve the lowest tax rate in the final result of the 13th administrative review.

Export of Vietnamese shrimp to China in July 2019 increased 47.7% to US$ 51.6 million. In the first 7 months of this year, exporting shrimp to this market reached over US$ 285 million, up 1.7% compared to the same period last year.

In July of this year, China increased the import of shrimp from Vietnam sharply due to the reduction of imports from other sources. The second largest supply of shrimp for China is India's forecast to reduce output this year due to bad weather and epidemics. Argentina ranked fourth in shrimp supply to China and announced to reduce shrimp production due to reduced shrimp biomass in the country's fishing grounds.


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