Shrimp processing for exports (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Despite a hike in shrimp exports anticipated for this year, the sector still has to face many challenges, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said at a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on August 3.

Deputy Director of the Vasep.Pro Centre Le Hang said in the first half of this year the shrimp sector earned over 1.35 billion USD, a year on year increase of 4.8 percent. It is also forecast to bring home 3.2 billion USD this year, up 10 percent against last year.

She said that the sector has seen a recovery in key export markets such as the US, the EU, the Republic of Korea and China, except for an 8.8 percent decrease in exports to Japan.

However, Hang is concerned that the sector is facing high production costs, and a shortage of raw materials as among issues that have hindered the sector’s growth. 

She stated Vietnam’s shrimp export prices are 20 percent higher than that of other foreign competitors, for instance, the average prices of Vietnamese shrimp to the US is trading at 11.2 USD per kg while China and India are selling at 6.7 and 10.8 USD per kg,respectively.

Besides this, a surplus supply over demand has made the market’s competitiveness fiercer both home and aboard, Chairman of the Board of Management of Minh Phu Seafood Group Le Van Quang said.

He said shortcomings and challenges are seen in most shrimp manufacturing processes like breeding, harvesting, preservation and exports which might lead to instability, high costs and weak competitiveness for the sector.

In order to cope with the situation, delegates at the conference proposed the State and relevant authorities should introduce overall measures to help the sector develop substantially, as well as increasing its competitiveness in the context of economic integration.-VNA