Domestic shrimp exporters will boost their shipments to Asian markets this year as seafood consumption demand was forecast to surge in the region, said general secretary of the Vietnam Seafood Exporters and Producers, Truong Dinh Hoe.

Hoe said that China, Japan and the Republic of Korea will be promising markets for Vietnamese shrimp exports this year, with an anticipated declining demand in the EU and US markets.

Having exported to 91 markets worldwide, shrimp is the biggest earner among exported seafood, earning the country 2.4 billion USD last year, up 13.7 percent over the previous year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development targeted 6.5 billion USD of earnings from seafood exports this year, 2.5 billion USD of which will be from shrimp exports.

However, industry insiders were concerned about the fishery industry's shortage of materials, especially for shrimp production, this year.

Hoe said that fisheries will face a shortage of materials due to difficulties in capital and breeding, though it was expected farmers would resume investments in aquaculture in the wake of feed price decline.

High input costs for aquaculture and fishing hinder farmer investment in the field.

"Seafood exports are also forecast to face more challenges this year due to stricter hygienic regulations imposed by importing countries", said general director of the Minh Phu seafood export group Le Minh Quang.

Besides urging relevant authorities to take bolder measures in supervising aquaculture processes, Quang also recommended to build up dedicated areas for aquaculture./.