Market Analysis
Weak demand in main markets, coupled with low export price and fierce competition squeezed Vietnam shrimp exports in the first 10 months of this year.
Low price, weak demand bug Vietnam shrimp exporters
Weak demand in main markets, coupled with low export price and fierce competition squeezed Vietnam shrimp exports in the first 10 months of this year. Data from the Vietnam Customs showed that Vietnamese shrimp sales in January-October 2015 reached US$2.5 billion, down 26.7% year on year.
Since April 2015, Vietnam shrimp exports have reported the month-on-month increase. October result touched US$327 million, up 7.3% from September 2015. However, this was 21.7% lower than the same period of 2014. As Christmas and New Year holidays push up shrimp demand, Vietnam's shrimp exports in the last two months of the year are expected to be better.
Shrimp exports to the US, Japan and EU during the first three quarters registered substantial decline compared with the same period in 2014. On the other hand, shrimp exports to the UK, Hong Kong and Malaysia increased by 11.1%, 3% and 17.8%, respectively.
Most of shrimp exported was frozen raw.  Whiteleg shrimp was the key export item, representing 58.6% of the total shrimp export with sales reaching $1.4 billion, down 26.4% year on year. Meanwhile, black tiger shrimp exports made up 33% of the total, hitting $813.3 million, down 31.3%. Marine shrimp was mostly exported under processed forms.
The proportion of whiteleg shrimp stayed flat from last year while that of black tiger shrimp was down 2.2% year on year and that of marine shrimp was up 2.3% year on year. 

US top market
The US was still Vietnam's top shrimp importing market. Shrimp exported to the US in the months through October accounted for 21.8%, from over 27% in the same period last year. Exports to Japan and the EU, on the other hand, increased by 1.5% and 1.7%, respectively
Shrimp sales to the US in October 2015 reached more than $85 million, up 9.6% month on month but down 4.3% year on year. Shrimp sales in October were higher than any other previous months in the year. Total shrimp exports to the US in the months through October were valued at $536.5 million, down 41% year on year.
In January-September 2015, the US imported 416,311 metric tonnes of shrimp all over the globe, worth $3.9 billion, up 2% in volume but down 18% in value. Average shrimp price dropped by 20% to $9.42/kg from US$11.79 last year.
With lower rates in POR9 and conclusion of the trade agreement TPP, it is forecast that Vietnam shrimp exports to the US will be better by end of 2015.
Japan 2nd-largest market
Japan was the second-largest shrimp market for Vietnam in January-October 2015. Shrimp sales to Japan in October reached $61.4 million, up 5.3% over September. The cumulative figure in January-October 2015 reached US$486.7 million, down 20.8% year on year. The decline in value of shrimp export to the market was attributable to the yen's devaluation and economic downturn.
Data from the International Trade Center (ITC) showed that total shrimp import into Japan in January-September 2015 hit US$1.6 billion, down 15.7% year on year. Vietnam remained Japan's biggest supplier of shrimps, which consisted mainly of large black tiger shrimp and value added products.
EU 3rd-largest market
Shrimp exports to the EU in October 2015 reached the highest so far this year. Shrimp sales to the market in October 2015 reached more than $63 million, up 12.9% from the previous month. Exports in the months through October hit $466.5 million, down 19.7% year on year.
Through October 2015, the UK was the only one among the top 3 markets in the bloc to report growth of 11.1% year on year. This was caused by a rise in importing demand for warmwater shrimp. Vietnam shrimp sales to Germany and the Netherlands, meanwhile, tumbled 18% and 30.2%, respectively.
Shrimp supply by main producers namely India, Thailand, Ecuador and China tends to edge down due to epidemic outbreak. Accordingly, shrimp price is likely to inch up. Besides, domestic currencies of large importers like euro, US dollar and yen are more stable. These are good news for Vietnam shrimp exports in the last months of the year. —
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