Vietnam’s shrimp exportsin Q1 had export turnover of $660 million, a 2 percent increase compared with the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs (GDC).
According to Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary general of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the figure was $780 million, and if counting the export turnover of $270 million in April, Vietnam might earn $1 million in the last four months from shrimp exports.
Of 34 shrimp export companies which make up 70 percent of total shrimp export turnover, 20 companies reported 0.3-87 percent growth rates compared with the same period last year, and 14 companies reported export decline of 10 percent on average.
Hoe said the export turnover in Q4 is always double that of the first quarter, so he believes that shrimp exports will recover this year.
Regarding export markets, Hoe said Japan and the US saw relatively high growth rates in Q1, while the EU and China saw sharp decline. However, these markets have shown signs of strong recovery.
|Vietnam’s shrimp exportsin Q1 had export turnover of $660 million, a 2 percent increase compared with the same period last year, according to the General Department of Customs (GDC).|
Hoe is optimistic about the shrimp export prospects this year because the predicted 50 percent shrimp output has decreased in India and Ecuador, the biggest rivals of Vietnam.
“The exports to the US increased rapidly partially because of the decline from India,” he said.
Nhu Van Can from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said despite the difficulties caused by Covid-19, Vietnam’s shrimp industry has set the same production and export goals as last year. It is expected that the shrimp farming area would reach 730,000 hectares and the output would be 830,000 tons.
The stability in farming area and output, according to Can, would help Vietnam accelerate exports while other export companies anticipate output decreases.
The world is shifting to consume small-size shrimp rather than large-size. There have been no official statistics about the changes in shrimp consumption habits, but exporters have noted that importers tend to order small-size shrimp products.
Tran Quoc Tuan, vice president of Vietnam-Australia Seafood Group, said small shrimp (50-60 shrimp per kilogram) are now in short supply because of the increased demand. Importers don’t want large-size shrimp now because restaurants and hotels have suspended operation.
Le Van Quang, president of Minh Phu Group, said the world market, especially the EU, has high demand for small-size shrimp (60-150 shrimp per kilogram).
According to Quang, large retail chains such as Walmart consume small shrimp products in large quantities, while restaurants, the biggest consumers of large shrimp, have suspended operation because of Covid-19. As a result, the price of large shrimp is now equal to small products.
Fearing a slump amid the epidemic, Vietnamese farmers are hesitating to begin new shrimp hatchery crops.
While seafood exports declined sharply in the first quarter due to the COVID-19, shrimp exports have managed to post slight growth.