October 25, 2013


Vietnam's whiteleg shrimp exports surpassed black tiger shrimp



For the first time in the history of the Vietnamese shrimp industry, whiteleg shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) exports have surpassed those of the black shrimp (Penaeus monodon) from January to September 2013.


Up to mid-September, whiteleg shrimp exports registered US$875.4 million, exceeding earnings of US$868.3 million from the export of black tiger shrimp, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters & Producers (VASEP).The association attributes this difference to the global market's high demand for cheap and small shrimp and the sharp drop in shrimp output from Thailand, which has been the leading supplier of the former so far.


During January to September of 2013, whiteleg shrimp exports accounted for nearly half of Vietnam's total shrimp sales (47.1%), yielding an estimated total of US$952.4 million, which was above the 45.9% achieved by black tiger shrimp exports, with revenue of US$928.2 million.


Last year, 190,000 tonnes of whiteleg shrimp were produced in the country, which represented 38% of Vietnam's total shrimp production. For this, 38,000 hectares were used.


During the first nine months of this year, Vietnamese farmers harvested 106,497 tonnes of whiteleg shrimp, compared to 152,313 tonnes of black tiger shrimp harvested.


For the January-August period this year, exports of the whiteleg shrimp variety went up to US$800 million compared to US$740 million yielded for the same time of the year.


Japan, a key consumer of this crustacean, increased its imports of Vietnamese whiteleg shrimp to 42.7% of the total Vietnamese shrimp purchases compared to 31.6% it had imported for the same period in 2012.


The whiteleg shrimp exports to the US also doubled from 37% in 2012 to 66.3% this year, also for the January-August period. Exports to China and the EU also reported an important growth going from 11.4% and 45.7% respectively to 19% and 53%.

Partly due to early mortality syndrome (EMS) outbreaks which have decimated global stocks, the drastic decline of shrimp supply worldwide meant that whiteleg shrimp exports are expected to reach a record figure of US$1.2 billion by the end of the year.


Furthermore, a high shrimp demand for the holidays that take place at the end of the year has also boosted Vietnam's whiteleg shrimp exports.


The Directorate of Fisheries reports that for the January-September period this year, the area destined for shrimp farming was 628,724 hectares of which 581,441 hectares were destined for black tiger shrimp and just 47,283 hectares for whiteleg shrimp. Despite this, production of the latter variety showed an increase of 16.4% more than the whiteleg shrimp production for the same time last year.