DOC cuts tariffs for 29 Vietnamese shrimp exporters

The U.S. Department of Commerce preliminarily reduced the duty rate for 29 Vietnamese shrimp exporters from 25.76 percent to zero, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers reported this week.

The agency - which hit shrimp exporters from six Asian and Latin American countries, including Vietnam, with antidumping tariffs in early 2005 - is reviewing the duty rates on shrimp imports that came in between Feb. 1, 2006, and Jan. 31, 2007. The final rates will be announced 120 days after the preliminary rates were released.

Vietnam exported 86.6 million pounds of shrimp to the United States last year, up 6 percent from 2006. The country was the No. 6 shrimp supplier to the United States in 2007, trailing Thailand, Ecuador, Indonesia, China and Mexico.

Also this week, Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade predicted a 34 percent increase in the country's seafood exports this year, to $1.2 billion.

The European Union is supplanting Japan as the No. 1 destination of Vietnamese seafood exports, representing more than one-quarter of the country's seafood exports. Pangasius, also called basa, is the leading Vietnamese seafood export to the EU, followed by shrimp and mollusks.

Responding to Ministry of Industry and Trade's announcement, the country's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development unveiled that there are currently 2.6 million acres of fish farms in Vietnam, a 1.5 percent increase from last year.


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