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Vietnam shrimp exports soar

Vietnam shrimp exports soar

Vietnam’s shrimp exports in the first 2 months of this year reached 415 million USD, up 24% over the same period last year. Exports to China and the US markets recorded growth of 143% and 26%, respectively, over the same period.

Shrimp exports in February 2024 decreased by 11% to 173 million USD due to the Lunar New Year. However, thanks to strong growth in January, cumulative export turnover in the first 2 months of the year still recorded an increase.

The price of raw white leg shrimp and black tiger prawn in Vietnam since January this year tended to gradually increase, although it has not yet recovered to the price level of the same period last year. In the first month of this year, the average price of Vietnamese shrimp exports to the US, UK, and Korea recorded an increase, while the export price to China, the EU, and Japan recorded a decrease.

In February 2024, Vietnamese shrimp exports to the China and Hong Kong markets increased by 76% to 39 million USD. This is the only market among the main shrimp import markets that recorded positive growth in February this year. Accumulated in the first 2 months of the year, shrimp exports to China and Hong Kong markets recorded a 3-digit growth of 143%, reaching more than 81 million USD.

The demand for importing Vietnamese shrimp to China in the first two months of this year was quite high. In the first month of this year, China sharply increased shrimp imports to meet Lunar New Year demand. In addition, China reduced imports from Ecuador, China’s largest shrimp supplier, so this market increased shrimp imports from Vietnam. In the Chinese market, Vietnamese shrimp has to compete in price with rival suppliers, but many buyers in China consider Vietnamese shrimp to be of higher quality than Ecuador and India, so they have accepted the price higher.

In 2023, China imported 1 million tons of shrimp, showing the large capacity of this recent market. Vietnamese enterprises also have a strategy to focus on selling shrimp products to China that other shrimp-supplying countries cannot meet. Vietnamese shrimp exports to China still grew well in the first half of this year.

Vietnamese shrimp exports to the US in February of this year reached 31 million USD, down 9%. In the first two months of the year, shrimp exports to this market reached 72 million USD, an increase of 26%. Although it decreased in January, it was at a slight pace due to the coincidence with the Lunar New Year holiday. The average price of Vietnamese shrimp exports to the US, after hitting bottom in November 2023, tended to increase in the first months of this year.

Experts say that US sales of fresh and frozen seafood are forecast to stabilize in 2024 after facing many difficulties in 2023 due to inflation and people tightening spending. Compared to some of the main shrimp suppliers in the US, which are India, Ecuador, and China, Vietnam is considered more promising, especially when diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the US are good, opening up many opportunities for products exporting Vietnam into America. The US is also having a policy of increasing purchases from other countries, reducing dependence on Chinese goods.

The North American Seafood Exhibition 2024 takes place from March 10–12 with the participation of many large shrimp exporters to the US, also promising many prospects for shrimp exports to this market.

Difficulties and challenges for the shrimp industry still exist, such as disease in farmed shrimp is still worrying, market demand is still weak, and there has not been a clear recovery in the EU, Japan, and Korea markets. The shrimp industry is determined to focus on the farming stage to increase competitiveness and promote the production of value-added products. With the support of the government, ministries, and branches, shrimp exports hope to soon return to the growth track this year.