Following a 6.7% growth recorded in 2016, Vietnam's shrimp exports in the first quarter didn't budge, slightly decreasing 0.1% compared with the same period last year. They were valued at US$618 million.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) attributed the stagnant growth to a sharp rise in raw shrimp price and anti-dumping tax levied by the US.
Nevertheless, the demand in Japan was high, as the appreciation of the Japanese yen made shrimp-exporting companies shift to this market. Recovering exports to other markets such as the EU and South Korea also offset declines in the US, China and Australia.
Exports of whiteleg shrimp retained the largest share of Vietnamese shrimp exports in the first quarter, at 63.3%, while those of black tiger shrimp had 27.3% share and of marine shrimp, 9.4%.
Whiteleg shrimp exports hit US$391.7 million, increasing 10.6%, while exports of black tiger shrimp touched $168.7 million, declining by 21% from the first quarter of 2016. Shipments of marine shrimp reached $57.9 million, up 12.3% year-on-year.
Vietnam exported shrimp to 68 markets, up from 64 markets in the same quarter in 2016.
The top 10 main importing markets were Japan (with a share of 21.9% of total exports), the EU (19.2%), the US (18.1%), China (15.1%), South Korea (10%), Canada, Australia, ASEAN, Taiwan and Switzerland, in that order. They all accounted for 95.4% of Vietnam's total shrimp exports.
Among the top importers, Japan, the EU and South Korea recorded positive growths, with shipments to South Korea showing the highest rise of 30.8%. Exports to the US and China declined. Particularly, sales to the US dropped by 26.3%.
Raw shrimp output in 2017 is projected to increase slightly to 660,000 metric tonnes (worth around $3.4 billion or up 9% year-on-year) over a farming area of 700 hectares.