March 3, 2010
Vietnam has favourable conditions for farming white-leg shrimp and large export potential, according to an aquaculture official.
Vu Dung, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Aquaculture Cultivation Department, said the country is favoured with low production costs and high productivity while global demand for white-leg shrimp is high.
The cost of breeding the crustacean is currently around VND30,000 (US$1.60) a kilogramme, or just half that of black tiger shrimp.
In markets in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, it now sells for VND60,000-80,000 (US$3.2-US$4.3) a kilogramme, up by VND10,000-20,000 (US$0.5-US$1.1) last month, the highest in the last two years.
Breeders earn a profit of VND130-150 million (US$6989-US$8065) per hectare at these prices, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP).
Although black tiger shrimp remains the key export item for the seafood sector, export of white-leg shrimp is expected to increase significantly, reaching US$500-600 million this year, due to its low price, experts said.
Last year the country exported more than 50,000 tonnes of white-leg shrimp for US$300 million, according to VASEP.
Japan, Vietnam's largest shrimp importer, is likely to increase the proportion of white-leg shrimp in its total shrimp import to 18% this year.
Vietnam began to develop white-leg shrimp breeding on a large scale in 2008.