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Shrimp exporters find the going tougher

Update: June, 26/2012 - 10:11


A shrimp processing line at Fimex Viet Nam Co in the southern province of Soc Trang. Shrimp is the key export staple of Viet Nam's seafood industry and the country expects to earn $2.5 billion from exports this year. — VNA/VNS Photo An Dang
HA NOI — Domestic shrimp exporters are facing major challenges due to fiercer competition from foreign rivals and stricter regulations imposed by importing countries, according to the Shrimp Committee.

The committee, which is under the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters, said that in contrast to Viet Nam, Thailand and India were enjoying better shrimp harvests.

Thailand expected to gain a shrimp output of 600,000-700,000 tonnes this year, up 20 per cent over last year. The Thai government has also planned to spend at least 1 billion baht (US$32 million) to buy roughly 10,000 tonnes of shrimp in the domestic market for inventory to support its farmers in the case of shrimp price reduction.

India also forecast a shrimp output of 100,000 tonnes this year, up 30 per cent over last year. India has recently succeeded in raising its market share in the US to 8 per cent from 5 per cent last year. India is currently considered a major competitor to Vietnamese shrimp exporters in the US market, especially of large-sized shrimp.

Chairman of the Shrimp Committee Ho Quoc Luc was further concerned about a possible reduction in shrimp exports to Japan this year as Japan has recently decided to increase its frequency of tests for trifluralin and enrofloxacin in shrimp imports from Viet Nam.

Despite the difficulties, industry insiders said that there were still advantages for domestic shrimp exporters in the US market.

Tran Thien Hai, general director of the Minh Hai Seafood Joint Stock Company, said that anti-dumping tariffs imposed by US authorities on Indian shrimp are higher than Viet Nam's. The tariff for Vietnamese shrimp is 1 per cent against 2.51 per cent of Indian.

Thai exported shrimp prices are also less competitive than Viet Nam's as input costs of the Thai industry are likely to surge by roughly 10-20 per cent in the wake of the country's decision to increase its minimum salary by 40 per cent recently.

Shrimp is the key export staple of Viet Nam's seafood industry and the country expected to earn roughly $2.5 billion from the product's export this year. According to the General Office of Customs, the country's shrimp is shipped to 70 international markets, of which Japan and the US are the biggest importers. — VNS

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