Shrimp exports could drop 17 percent in 2015

Shrimp exporters expect to gross 3.2 billion USD in revenue in 2015.
Shrimp exporters expect to gross 3.2 billion USD in revenue in 2015, an annual decline of 17 percent, due to shrimp disease and export difficulties in the first half of this year, said the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

According to the General Department of Customs, the sector brought home only 1.2 billion USD from January-June, down 29 percent from a year earlier.

Frozen white-leg and tiger shrimps as materials made up the majority of the revenue with 741 million USD (down 30 percent) and 412 million USD (down 31) percent, respectively.

The decline has led to a considerable reduction in seafood exports, as shrimp is a key aquatic export commodity.

Deputy General Director of the General Fisheries Department Nguyen Huy Dien attributed the decline to the increasing global shrimp supply and resultant price reductions.

Technical, tariff and non-tariff barriers along with foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations also affected local shrimp exports, he said.

Despite the gloomy situation, Secretary General of the VASEP Truong Dinh Hoe said there are still positive signs.

Last June, shrimp output of major competitors such as India, Indonesia and Thailand failed to reach the set targets and harvesting periods in these markets have ended. Meanwhile, the appetites of key shrimp importers are increasing presenting a good opportunity for Vietnam to increase exports in the last six months of this year and increase shrimp prices by 5-10 percent.

Furthermore, free trade agreements signed between Vietnam and promising seafood importers like the Republic of Korea and the Eurasian Economic Union are expected to make it easier for shrimp export activities.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has recently increased the inter-bank average exchange rate between VND and USD by one percent, a positive sign for the sector’s recovery.

To tap these opportunities, businesses should strictly implement regulations on food safety and technical standards of foreign importers, he said, adding that the State should enact policies on foreign exchange rate and interest rates to help reduce domestic shrimp production costs and increase competitiveness.-VNA

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