South Korea: An attractive destination for Vietnam shrimp

Amid current headwinds of global economies, particularly Vietnam’s three main markets such as the U.S., Japan, and EU, a major economy in Asia like South Korea which has high demand in seafood will become an attractive destination for Vienam seafood. In 2011, South Korea was the fourth largest importer of Vietnam seafood in export value, accounting for 7.8 percent of total Vietnam seafood export value after EU, the U.S. and Japan. Three main seafood items of Vietnam exported to South Korea were cephalopods, shrimp and other finfish in which cephalopods made up 35.5 percent of total export value, shrimp with 33 percent and other finfish with 29 percent. Although Vietnam shrimp is not Korean people’s the most favourite seafood item, Vietnam shrimp exports to the market have reported a high and stable growth in recent years. Shrimp exports increased from US$81 million (in 2007) to US$157 million (in 2011). When whiteleg shrimp wasn’t officially allowed to farm in Vietnam, black tiger shrimp was the main shrimp species exported to South Korea. Since whiteleg shrimp has been produced comercially in Vietnam, the species exports to the market keep increasing. In 2011, whiteleg shrimp exports to South Korea touched US$75.8 million, making up 48 percent of total shrimp export value to the market. Black tiger shrimp exports to the market remained its proportion of 38 – 39 percent. While many barriers in many major importing markets are exposing to Vietnam shrimp, many Vietnam shrimp exporters are planning to strengthen shrimp exports to South Korea. This is an attractive market of Vietnam shrimp due to stable consumption demand. According to International Trade Centre (ITC), Vietnam is not ranked in top 10 largest shrimp suppliers for South Korea but importing shrimp from Vietnam into the country is in uptrend. In 2010, Vietnam raw shrimp imports into the market rose by 142 percent from that of 2009, leading an increase in Vietnam’s market share from 0.4 percent to 0.8 percent while market share of some major markets such as the U.S., Japan, Spain, France or Italy grew only from 10 – 18 percent per annum. 2012 marks the 20 year diplomatic relation between Vietnam and South Korea. Recently, in an official visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Vietnamese senior delegation to South Korea, both two countries has agreed to complete soon US$20 billion target of bilateral trade turnover prior to 2015 and reach US$30 billion target. Two countries approved to continue to corporate for balance and expansion in bilateral trade ties. In order to boost economic cooperation for mutual benefits, two countries will kick off negotiations on bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Accordingly, South Korea will consider Vietnam’s suggestions and facilitate Vietnam goods exported to South Korea.

Source: Vasep

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