Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Japan in the first quarter of this year increased by 29.6 percent year-on-year to reach 135.4 million USD, making Japan the country’s largest shrimp importer.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (VASEP), shrimp exports to Japan recovered since August 2016 and kept growing until March 2017.

The association attributed the rise to changes in tastes of local consumers who now prefer cheaper aquatic products to salmon, tuna and cuttlefish.

Demand for different kinds of shrimp among high-end consumers also increased, the association said, noting that all these factors have drawn shrimp businesses to Japan.

Although Vietnamese shrimp is sold at a high price of 12 USD per kg on average, they are still popular thanks to their improved quality, the association said.

Cooperation programmes in agriculture between the two countries have also facilitated Vietnam’s shrimp export to Japan, the association added, asking Vietnamese businesses to maintain product quality and prestige.

Vietnamese shrimp firms, however, said they still face various difficulties, especially a shortage of raw shrimp.

The Director of Thien Phu Export Seafood Processing Company Limited said the company is making every effort to ensure material supply by connecting with shrimp farms which follow GlobalGap standards, covering a total area of 500 ha in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu.

VASEP forecast that Vietnam’s shrimp export turnover in 2017 will amount to about 3.4 billion USD, up 9 percent year-on-year, of which export value of white-leg shrimp is expected to edge up 8 percent to hit about 2 billion USD.-VNA