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Expensive Tiger Shrimp Producers Must Lower Costs to Compete

VIET NAM - Experts have warned that the popularity of Vietnams tiger shrimp on the global market has been challenged by white shrimp and the only way of improving its competitiveness is by lowering production costs.

In 2007, Vietnam is expected to export $3.6bil worth of seafood, including $1.5bil from shrimp exports, an increase of 12 per cent over the same period last year. However, Vietnam may not maintain this high growth rate next year, as Vietnam’s tiger shrimp is competing with increasingly popular white shrimp.

In previous years, tiger shrimp prices always increased by 10-20 per cent in the final months of the year, especially right before Christmas. However, tiger shrimp prices have been decreasing this year. Importers nowadays prefer the cheaper white shrimp to Vietnam’s more expensive tiger shrimp.

On the US market, the white shrimp price is $1-1.5/kg earning it 80 per cent of the market share, while Vietnam’s higher cost tiger shrimp retains only 20 per cent.

Le Van Quang, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that in order to make tiger shrimp more competitive Vietnam has no other choice than to lower the production cost.

Source: Vietnamnet