Shrimp exports expected to pick up in second half hinh anh 1At a shrimp processing plant in Hau Giang. Vietnam's shrimp exports are expected to be strong in the rest months of the year. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - Shrimp exports are expected to be strong during the rest of this year because countries tend to import more in the latter months of the year, with the free trade agreements Vietnam has signed boosting its exports.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), shrimp exports were worth 1.4 billion USD in the first half of the year, a year-on-year decline of 12 percent.

This was mainly due to a fall in imports by Vietnam’s key markets such as the US, EU and China, it said.

Exports to the EU, the largest buyer of Vietnamese shrimp, fell 25.9 percent to 300.5 million USD.

The UK, Germany and the Netherlands are the three main markets in the bloc, and exports to them fell by 9.5 percent, 12.5 percent and 50.2 percent.

Shrimp exports to China were down 4.9 percent to 233.5 million USD since the neighbouring country tightened its border trade policy and there was fierce competition from India and Ecuador.

China has increased its imports from India and Ecuador, who offer more competitive prices than Vietnam.

Vietnamese shrimp exports to China showed signs of increasing in May and June. India’s shrimp harvest season has ended, and Vietnam’s export to that country is expected to increase during the rest of the year, it said.  

Exports to the US, the third largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp, dropped 2 percent to 250.4 million USD.

In the US market, Vietnam has encountered strong competition from India, Ecuador and China.

After declining for the first four months of the year, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the US edged up again in May and June. The association said exports in May and June were still down from the same period last year, but the fall was less steep than in the first four months.

Exports are now expected to gradually recover since many markets usually have high demand in the latter part of the year.

The US has imposed a 25 percent tax on seafood imported from China, including shrimp. This will be an opportunity for other countries, including Vietnam, to boost exports to the market.

Vietnam’s free trade agreements, including the EU-Vietnam FTA, are expected to boost seafood exports in the coming months.-VNA