Vietnam shrimp sales reach record levels

Vietnam’s 2010 shrimp exports reached record highs. Sales generated more than USD 2 billion – representing a notable rise from 2009’s USD 1.69 billion earnings, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

“The record high export value was fuelled by higher quality shrimp farming practices this year,” stated Nguyen Huu Dung, VASEP deputy chairman. “Shrimp exports continued to grow this year despite the world economic downturn and market uncertainty.”

And VASEP expert Nguyen Minh Tam noted that during the first 11 months of the year, Vietnam exported 210,000 tonnes of shrimp, yielding USD 1.83 billion.

“Shrimp were very much in demand in almost all the main export markets, including Japan, the US and the European Union (EU), so the volume to those markets increased sharply,” Tam said, reports VNS.

Vietnam’s biggest export market is Japan, and sales there showed a year-on-year volume growth of 21.7 per cent at 60,000 tonnes with earnings up 29 per cent at USD 550 million, she told.


Vietnam’s second largest export market, the US, imported 42,441 tonnes of shrimp at USD 450 million. This represents an increase of 16 per cent in volume and 34.6 per cent in value year-on-year.

VASEP said the price of shrimp exported to the US is the highest, reaching USD 12 per kg at year’s end – a climb of 20-30 per cent compared the end of 2009 – because of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in mid-year, which made US shrimp imports soar, VOVNews reports. 

In terms of shrimp sales to the EU, Vietnam shipped 40,000 tonnes in the first 11 months of 2010 at USD 290 million, constituting an 8.1 per cent rise in volume and 16.8 per cent boost in value year-on-year.

The value growth was partly attributable to international shrimp price increases, Tam explained. The export price at the end of last month was USD 8,530 per tonne compared with USD 5,017 per tonne at the same time in 2009.

Shrimp prices also reached a record level in Vietnam, Tam added.

For example, in southernmost Ca Mau Province, the price varied by between 11 and 36 per cent depending on the quantity of shrimp purchased; for 40 kg of shrimp, the price was VND 130,000 (USD 6.51) per kg.

Prices jumped in the domestic market because supply was low, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). In the Mekong delta region, the amount of land devoted to shrimp aquaculture fell by 16,000ha to 550,600ha.

MARD Deputy Minister Luong Le Phuong instructed that, to tackle the issue, regional provinces ought to diversify their shrimp farming methods and push farmers to collaborate to ensure the industry’s sustainable growth.

Regarding tra (pangasius or Vietnamese catfish), VASEP expects exports in 2011 to plummet by 40 per cent year-on-year at 900,000 tonnes and USD 1 billion in value due to scarcity of supply, which should last until May. VASEP and businesses agreed to keep the export price at a minimum of USD 2.05- USD 3 per kg


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