Shrimp export in the first half of this year amounted to 1.1 billion USD, a rise of 8.6 percent over the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The major import markets including Japan, the US, China and Canada saw a rapid increase in price, which contributed a lot to the overall rise in export value.

Domestic shrimp production has also recovered from the damage caused by diseases in 2012, which are presently being eradicated, according to the association.

While Early Mortality Syndrome ( EMS ) in shrimp still badly affects many other Asian countries such as Thailand, which has forecast that the country’s shrimp output will fall by 50 percent over last year, this provides opportunities for Vietnamese shrimp producers to make a break-through, added the association.

Exports to Japan, the biggest importer of Vietnamese shrimp, have recovered and are expected to reach 293.9 million USD in the first six months of this year, a rise of 6.6 percent.

Shrimp exports to the US also rose by 22.4 percent over the same period last year and are estimated at 253.3 million USD.

However, difficulties remain for shrimp exports to some markets such as the Republic of Korea with the application of the Ethoxyquin test or to the US that applies an anti-subsidy tax.

Industry insiders have urged Vietnamese businesses to try and expand their current markets in North America, the Middle East and Asia.

China, with its huge population holds a vast potential market for Vietnamese shrimp exports. In the first quarter of this year, China passed the EU to become the third largest importers of Vietnamese shrimp, with a monthly growth rate of 7.3-9.7 percent.

Experts also predict that China will continue to be the world’s biggest importer of seafood for the next 10 years, with a potential import value of up to 20 billion USD.

Malaysia also has a lot of untapped potential as the country’s supplies of shrimp fell from 90,000 tonnes to 60,000 tonnes in the year’s first quarter due to diseases, forcing the country to import shrimp to meet consumer demands.

Truong Dinh Hoe, chairman of Vasep, has forecast that shrimp exports will hit 2.4 billion USD for the full year, 6.5 percent higher than last year.

He urged exporters to work closely with farmers to ensure supplies of high quality shrimp, which will help to overcome technical barriers set by overseas import markets.

Vietnam mainly exports white shrimp and black tiger shrimp, which made up 41.3 and 50.8 percent of total export turnover respectively.-VNA