Statistics from Viet Nam General Customs showed that in May, Viet Nam shrimp exports to the UK reached $9.4 million, doubled from the previous month. Through May, total shrimp exports to this market reached $36.2 million, up 50.9 per cent year-on-year, reports VASEP.
UK shrimp imports have shown good growth in the last 5 years. According to the International Trade Centre (ITC), in the first 4 months of this year, shrimp imports fell 2.9 per cent as economy in the EU has not recovered while the euro depreciated against the dollar causing importers to pay higher for the same commodity.
Viet Nam is reported to be the fifth biggest shrimp supplier to the market in the initial 4 months of this year, after Bangladesh, India and Canada. Viet Nam holds 10 per cent of shrimp market share in the UK.
Vietnamese shrimp is competing with those from India, Thailand or Indonesia. From January to April, shrimp imports into the UK from Viet Nam grew 16.8 per cent, while imports from India, Indonesia and Thailand declined 20 per cent, 30 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.
In June 2014, when issues arose over slave labour in the Thai fishing industry, the Thai shrimp industry was heavily affected, said VASEP.
The EU's generalised scheme of preferences (GSP) also came to an end in 2014 and tax on shrimp from Thailand increased to 20 per cent. From January 2015, tax on raw shrimp increased to 12 per cent from the previous 4 per cent.
In the late 2014, India faced warnings from the EU due to increases in the use of antibiotics on imported shrimp, therefore, it is unlikely that shrimp imports from India to EU will rise in the near future.
In mid-June 2015, demand for small-sized warm water shrimp rose as prices for coldwater shrimp were high at GBP 8/ kg. A shrimp processor in the UK expected to switch from coldwater shrimp into warm water shrimp.
More fish is on the plate as the British care for their health. Warm water shrimp and other new types of seafood are on the racks beside traditional ones.
Shrimp exports to the UK and other European markets are expected to increase, however, the speed of increase is slower due to the debt crisis in Greece.