According to VASEP, while fisheries export encounters a slight decrease compared to the same period last year, there has been a positive signal in shrimp export in the first quarter with a slight increase.
In the first quarter, the total export of Vietnam shrimp to the US market has been valued at $115.5 million – an 18.2% rise against the same period in 2019.
America has been the second-largest Vietnam shrimp importing market, with 18.4% all shrimp export turnover – second only to Europe. However, the current severe COVID-19 has shut down almost all importing activities of this major market, including shrimp products. The demand for fishery products has also gone down due to social lockdown.
Fortunately, it is assured that all retailing stores in America have still processed the procurement of “essential” products to meet the residents’ high demand. Considering shrimp supplies from India, Ecuador, and Thailand being seriously hit by the epidemic, many Americans have gone for Vietnam’s shrimp products.
About other shrimp export competitors to the US
The largest shrimp exporter of America is definitely India, which is struggling with COVID-19 and has posed a social lockdown order, effective from March 23rd to May 18th. The current status in India has negatively affected its manufacturing activities, including shrimp products (main harvesting season is in the summer).
Indian shrimp farmers are facing difficulties in sourcing suppliers and delivering seed shrimp. Certain shrimp processing plants must be operated with only 50% of all human resources and prices of seed shrimp have a record low, which may possibly affect the supplies.
Shrimp export from Ecuador to the US is expected to decrease in Mar 2020, also because the COVID-19 pandemic in this country has greatly aggravated the shrimp production process.
Many shrimp manufacturing plants are located in Guayaquil – Guayas province, which is seriously suffering from COVID-19. Some companies are about to go bankrupt if there is no positive sign. Meanwhile, the government has not provided any support for this field.
About Vietnam shrimp market
In the domestic market, from the beginning of April 2020, seed shrimp prices in Cuu Long Delta has witnessed a quick recovery, together with other fisheries products.
It is reported that the overall prices for shrimp products have gradually risen. Specifically, at the end of April, whileleg shrimp’s price ranges between 95,000 and 100,000 VND for 100 shrimps per kg, which has increased by 15,000 – 20,000 VND/kg compared to 3 months ago. The price for giant tiger prawns (30 shrimps per kg) is valued at 200,000 to 230,000 VND – a rise of 30,000 to 40,000 per kg. In the meantime, the price for small-sized whiteleg shrimp in Bac Lieu has seen an increase of 20,000 VND per kg.
According to VASEP, although the price for seed shrimp has positively gone up, due to draughts, salinization, diseases, and the complicated status of COVID-19 in major markets, farmers are worried and hesitant to process manufacturing. A shortage of shrimp products is completely possible when the market is recovered.
The 2020 harvest for brackish-water shrimp is still long, and there have been more and more positive signals for the market when many countries, such as China and Korea, have efficiently controlled the pandemics.
Moreover, Vietnam may greatly benefit from EVFTA with the EU market, which will possibly come into effect in July 2020. Vietnam, then, will enjoy 0% import tax on seed shrimp to EU – a big competitive advantage over other export markets like India, Ecuador, and Thailand.
However, there are still many challenges that Vietnam shrimp manufactures may be confronted with. Therefore, all the suppliers and farmers should well coordinate with each other to overcome difficulties and grasp the gold opportunities for a fast recovery.
Translated and edited by: Dandelion