HA NOI (VNS)— Shrimp exports are expected to reach the US$2.5 billion goal set for the year despite the ongoing challenges facing exporters, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
|Workers at the Tho Quang Fisheries Processing and Export Co process shrimp. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang
Solid supplies and increased demand were putting the industry on track to meet its target, although shrimp export value would have to continue on a pace to total US$800 million in the last quarter of the year, VASEP said. In the third quarter, shrimp exports surged 19 per cent over the same period last year to $690 million, bringing total export value in the first nine months to $1.7 billion.
Obstacles to reaching the goal include a slowdown in demand on the European market and difficulty complying with strict food safety requirements being imposed by Japan. Japan is applying a maximum ethoxyquin residue limit of 0.01ppm for Vietnamese shrimp, a low rate for local shrimp breeders.
Ethoxyquin is a substance used in the preservation of fishmeal (a main ingredient in animal feed), and most of countries in the world apply a maximum residue limit of 77-150ppm.
To avoid damage to the export companies and protect the reputation of Vietnamese shrimp on the Japanese market, VASEP has proposed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development review of the use of ethoxyquin in aquaculture and enhance measures to strictly control its use.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese shrimp exporters also expect to face stiff competition in the final quarter of the year from rivals in Thailand, India, Indonesia and Ecuador, VASEP said. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has predicted that output of white-leg shrimp from India this year would rise 33 per cent over last year to reach 100,000 tonnes.
Noting that only 35 per cent of shrimp processors and exporters had insufficient financial resources to remain in production through the end of the year, VASEP has also urged the authorities to adopt policies to reduce interest rates for exporters and to increase industry credit quotas.
Total export value of shrimp reached $2 billion for the first time in 2010 and rose by another 13.7 per cent in 2011 to reach $2.4 billion, VASEP said. — VNS