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Positive Outlook for Viet Nam's Whiteleg Shrimp Exports

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VIET NAM - Viet Nams whiteleg shrimp production and exports in 2013 are hoped to be speeded up thanks to global markets high demand for cheap and small shrimp and sharp fall in shrimp output from Thailand-the leading supplier of whiteleg shrimp.

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Through September 2013, whiteleg shrimp exports registered US$875.4 million, jumping across earnings of US$868.3 million from black tiger shrimp. This is the first time in shrimp industry of Viet Nam, whiteleg shrimp brought back more revenue than black tiger shrimp to the country, reports VASEP.

Through September 2013, whiteleg shrimp export value was estimated to touch US$952.4 million, accounted for 47.1 per cent among Viet Nam total shrimp sales, higher than US$928.2 million of black tiger shrimp exports with 45.9 per cent proportion.

In 2012, on the farming area of 38,000 hectares, Viet Nam harvested 190,000 MT of whiteleg shrimp, accounting for 38 per cent of the country’s total shrimp output. Until the late September 2013, on the area of 47,283 hectares, local farmers harvested 106,497 MT of whiteleg shrimp, nearly keeping pace with 152,313 MT of black tiger shrimp.

High demand for whiteleg shrimp

Between Jan and Aug 2013, Viet Nam ’s whiteleg shrimp exports to almost main destinations increased because consumers favored cheap shrimp due to economic crisis. Total exports of the item from Viet Nam reached nearly US$800 million, surpassing the figure of 2012 (more than US$740 million).

In Jan-Aug 2013, out of total shrimp exports to Japan, the proportion of whiteleg shrimp increased to 42.7 per cent from 31.6 per cent of the same time of 2012. The U.S. posted a double growth of 66.3 per cent from 37 per cent . Sales to EU and China also reported a remarkable growth of 53 per cent and 19 per cent from 45.7 per cent and 11.4 per cent , respectively.

Whiteleg shrimp exports to reach record US$1.2 billion

Whiteleg shrimp exports in 2013 are expected to have favourable conditions to grow and reach more than US$1.2 billion thanks to tremendous increase in shrimp price caused by sharp decline in global shrimp supply. Besides, high shrimp demand for the year end holidays in major markets also contributes to push up Viet Nam ’s whiteleg shrimp exports.

Between 2006 and 2008, whiteleg shrimp was allowed to be farmed in limited areas from Quang Ninh to Binh Thuan province, except for the Mekong Delta. Since the early 2008 the species farmed in Thailand and China was in high demand and compete strongly with black tiger shrimp products from Viet Nam , farmers in the Mekong Delta has been authorized to breed whiteleg shrimp in industrial scale to diversify exported seafood products, meet demand for this species from global importers.

According to Directorate of Fisheries, through September 2013, the shrimp farming area reported by 22 provinces of Viet Nam was 628,724 hectares. In which, 581,441 hectares of black tiger shrimp farming and 47,283 hectares of whiteleg shrimp farming. At that time, local farmers harvested 258,782 MT (+16.4 per cent from that of the same time of 2012).

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