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Weak Demand, High Prices Hurting Vietnam Shrimp Exports

Crustaceans Economics +2 more

VIETNAM - Weak demand in main markets, coupled with low export prices and fierce competition has squeezed Vietnam shrimp exports in the first 10 months of this year.

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According to statistics of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam shrimp sales in Jan-Oct 2015 reached US$2.5 billion, down 26.7 per cent year on year.

Since April 2015, Vietnam shrimp exports have reported the month-on-month increase. October result touched US$327 million, up 7.3 per cent from September 2015. However, this was 21.7 per cent lower than the same period of 2014. As Christmas and New Year holidays push up shrimp demand, Vietnam’s shrimp exports in the last two months of the year will be better, reports VASEP.

Shrimp exports to the US, Japan and EU reported the tremendous decline compared to the same period of 2014. On the contrary, shrimp exports to the U.K, Hong Kong and Malaysia upped 11.1 per cent, 3 per cent and 17.8 per cent, respectively.

Most of shrimp exported was frozen raw. Whiteleg shrimp was the key export item, representing 58.6 per cent of the total shrimp exports with sales reaching US$1.4 billion, down 26.4 per cent year on year. Meanwhile, black tiger shrimp exports made up 33 per cent of the total, hitting US$813.3 million, down 31.3 per cent. The other was marine shrimp, which was mostly exported under processed forms.

It is noted that the proportion of whiteleg shrimp stayed flat from last year while that of black tiger shrimp downed 2.2 per cent year on year and that for marine shrimp upped 2.3 per cent year on year.

The US

The US was still Vietnam’s top shrimp importing market. Shrimp exported to the US through October accounted for 21.8 per cent, from over 27 per cent in the same period of 2014. Exports to Japan and the EU on the other hand increased by 1.5 per cent and 1.7 per cent, respectively.

Shrimp sales to the US in October 2015 touched more than US$85 million, up 9.6 per cent month-on-month but down 4.3 per cent year on year. Shrimp sales in October reported higher than any other previous months in the year. Total shrimp exports to the U.S. through Oct 2015 valued US$536.5 million, down 41 per cent year on year.

In Jan-Sep 2015, the US imported 416,311 MT of shrimp all over the globe, worth by US$3.9 billion, up 2 per cent in volume but down 18 per cent in value. Average shrimp price dropped by 20 per cent to US$9.42/kg from US$11.79 last year.

With lower rates in POR9 and conclusion of TPP, it is forecast that Vietnam shrimp exports to the US will be better in the end of 2015.


Japan was the second largest shrimp consumption market for Vietnam in Jan-Oct 2015. Shrimp sales to the market in Oct 2015 achieved US$61.4 million, up 5.3 per cent over Sep 2015. The cumulative figure in Jan-Oct 2015 reached US$486.7 million, down 20.8 per cent year on year. The decline in value of shrimp export to the market was attributable to yen’s devaluation and economic downturn.

The statistics of the International Trade Center (ITC) showed that total shrimp imports into Japan in Jan-Sep 2015 hit US$1.6 billion, down 15.7 per cent year on year. Vietnam remained the biggest shrimp supplier to this market. Main items that Vietnam sent here were large black tiger shrimp and value added products.

The EU

Shrimp exports to the EU in Oct 2015 has reached the highest so far this year. Shrimp sales to the market in Oct 2015 reached more than US$63 million, up 12.9 per cent from Sep 2015. Through Oct 2015, exports hit US$466.5 million, down 19.7 per cent year on year.

Through Oct 2015, the U.K was the only market among top 3 markets in the bloc to report growth of 11.1 per cent year on year. This was caused by a rise in importing demand for warmwater shrimp.

Vietnam shrimp sales to Germany and the Netherlands meanwhile tumbled 18 per cent and 30.2 per cent, respectively.

Shrimp supply by main producers namely India, Thailand, Ecuador and China tends to edge down due to epidemic outbreak. Accordingly, shrimp price is likely to inch up. Besides, domestic currencies of large importers like EUR, USD and yen are more stable. These are good news for Vietnam shrimp exports in the last months of the year.