shift may hurt VN shrimp exports
HCM CITY — US shrimp
importers may shift more of their purchases to India, Thailand and Bangladesh in
the wake of a ruling by the US to require Vietnamese exporters to buy bonds from
insurance companies to gain entry to the US market, according to a seafood
The US Customs and Border
Control issued the regulation to ensure that Vietnamese shrimp exporters pay
anti-dumping duties imposed on their exports.
Last December, the US
International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Viet Nam and five other
countries were dumping their shrimp products at unfairly low prices on the US
market and imposed varying rates of duties on each country.
On April 26, the ITC is
expected to issue a ruling that could lower or cancel the anti-dumping duties on
shrimp exporters from Thailand and India because of damage they suffered during
the tsunami last December.
US importers may choose
those markets instead of Viet Nam’s, and shrimp exports to the US could
decline dramatically, said Nguyen Van Kich, chairman of the Shrimp Committee of
the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
Over the last two days,
several US importers who are low on stock have agreed to purchase the bonds on
behalf of Vietnamese exporters, but most major US importers are taking a
wait-and-see attitude, Kich said.
Director Nguyen Van Thang
of the Vimex Seafood Exporting company in Bac Lieu Province was previously a
major buyer of shrimp for the US market, but has had to stop purchases because
of the prohibitively expensive bonds.
Kich said that shrimp
importers from Japan may increase their purchases if Viet Nam drops its prices
in an effort to increase its market share. Japan imports most of its shrimp from
Truong Dinh Hoe, deputy
general secretary of VASEP, said the shrimp industry will focus more on the EU
But he noted that the EU
has strict sanitation regulations and the market is not a subsitute for the US
and Japan, both of which account for 50 per cent of the seafood industry’s
total export revenue.
He said the seafood
industry is concerned that it will not reach its target of US$2.6 billion in
export revenue this year.
US Customs issued the new
bond regulation after a number of exporters that folded failed to pay their
anti-dumping duties to US Customs.
The conditional bonds will
be refunded at a later date, but if anti-dumping duties are raised in 2007,
Vietnamese companies may not be able to get the sum back, according to VASEP.
Viet Nam pays an average
anti-dumping duty of 4.58 per cent. — VNS