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Shrimp exports in 2012 faced a lot of challenges !

In 2011, Vietnam shrimp shipment set the record high of US$2.4 billion. Facing many difficulties in the current market, shrimp exports hardly obtain the same figure of last year. In the period between January and August 2012, shrimp exports value dropped by 1.8 percent compared to the same time last year and as of September 2012, the figure sank by 3.9 percent. According to statistics of General Department of Viet Nam Customs, as of September 2012, shrimp sales to abroad gained over US$1.62 billion, down 3.6 percent over the same period of 2011. As of the late second quarter of 2012, shrimp exports started to be on the decrease: exports in June 2012 saw the decline of 4 percent over that of June 2011, July saw the decline of 6.8 percent and sharp decrease of 21.6 percent was witnessed in August. In September 2012, shrimp exports fell by 15.8 percent as the result of Japan’s Ethoxyquin inspection on Vietnam shrimp exported to the country. In July 2012, shrimp exports to Japan – the largest importer of Vietnam shrimp – started to come to a halt, August reported a deep fall of 16.6 percent and to September, the decline was 9.2 percent. The decrease was mainly attributable to that Japan intensified to test Ethoxyquin residue in shrimp consignments originated from Vietnam with maximum residue limits (MRLs) of 0.01 ppm. In the wake of hardship in the current international markets, Japan becomes an important consuming market of Vietnam shrimp. During the first 6 months of 2012, shrimp exports to the market remained a double digit growth. As of July, exports to the market slowed down as the result of Japan’s strict measure on Ethoxyquin residue controlling in imported shrimp from Vietnam. When the state hasn’t offered a thorough solution for Ethoxyquin problem, in an effort to keep the consuming market, many shrimp enterprises themselves have to manage on solving the problem. They tried applying measures of limiting Ethoxyquin residue in raw shrimp. Within a week before harvesting, they feed shrimp with feed containing low level of protein or stop feeding shrimp within 12 – 16 hours before harvesting. Some enterprises stopped exporting industrial farmed shrimp to Japan and replaced by exporting extensive farmed shrimp to the market. However, these measures are only temporary, exports to Japan are unlikely to recover without strong intervention from the government and relevant authorities. According to the latest report on Japanese shrimp market, Japan’s inventory of black tiger shrimp remained a small volume due to deep decrease in shrimp imports from Vietnam and India where shrimp exporters are facing regulations on Ethoxyquin residue controlling. Thus, there is a huge demand for black tiger shrimp imported into Japan. Once Ethoxyquin problem is tackled, Vietnam shrimp exports to Japan will rally as well as Vietnam shrimp will regain its good quality and image in other markets. August 2012 witnessed decline in shrimp exports not only to Japan but also to almost main markets such as the U.S., EU. In September, exports to the markets kept deep decrease in which exports to the U.S. fell 34.3 percent, EU with 24.8 percent.

Source: Portunus Vietnam

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