Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) – Despite a rebound in shrimp exports to the EU​ in recent months, Vietnam’s shrimp sector is facing a fierce competition in the market, requiring domestic exporters to continue improving their product quality and competitiveness, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The country’s shrimp enjoyed a surge of 32 percent in exports to the European market in the first nine months of 2017.

Shrimp exports to the market in June and July came to a standstill due to the supply shortage and price hikes while EU businesses reduced shrimp imports. But from August, exports to the EU have been restored with more supply from domestic businesses, making the EU the top market of Vietnamese shrimp.

According to the VASEP, leading European importers of Vietnamese shrimp were the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium, with growth of 46.5 percent, 47.8 percent and 34.1 percent, respectively.

In the rest of the year, exports to the EU market are predicted to continue rising as the festive season is coming.

Shrimp is a profitable products supplied by many large firms in the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, the major competitors of Vietnam in the EU market are India and Ecuador.
 
The free trade agreement between Ecuador and the EU, which took effect from January 1, 2017, has offered Ecuador the preferential tax rate of zero percent from 3.6 percent earlier, enhancing the competitiveness of the country’s shrimp.


It is forecast that each year, the EU consumes about 40,000 tonnes of white-leg shrimp from Ecuador at zero percent tax. Ecuador is likely to enjoy 7-9 percent growth in 2017 in the market.

Vasep said that to boost exports to the market, businesses should pay more attention to labels and the quality of products to build brand names and expand markets.

According to Tran Van Pham, Director of Soc Trang seafood company, firms should invest more in technology and equipment for shrimp processing to ensure clean products, while reducing production cost and improving quality.

Vietnam exported 2.5 billion USD worth of shrimp to the world in the first nine months of 2017, a rise of 21.9 percent over the same period last years.

Currently, the EU currently consumes about 30 percent of shrimp in the world, with about 6-8 billion USD per year. The market’s shrimp imports increased to 6.7 billion USD in 2016 from 5.6 billion USD in 2007.-VNA