Japan replaces U.S. as top importer of shrimp from Vietnam

Published on
May 19, 2017

Japan has become the largest export market for Vietnamese shrimp, taking the former top spot held by the United States, according to new data from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

In the first quarter of 2017, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Japan surged nearly 30 percent to reach USD 135.4 million (EUR 121.4 million), Viet Nam News reported

“The significant growth is because of the rise of the yen, which has encouraged Japanese enterprises to move to imported shrimp,” the article reported. “Also, Japanese consumers tend to switch to cheaper seafood, which has increased the demand for shrimp as they are more affordable than other seafood such as tuna, salmon and squid.”

Vietnam’s top 10 shrimp export markets in order, are: Japan, the European Union, the U.S., China, South Korea, Canada, Australia, ASEAN, Taiwan and Switzerland.

Meanwhile, VASEP said that aquaculture production in Vietnam was estimated at 295,000 tons in April, an increase of one percent over the same period last year. From January through April., the country’s aquaculture production climbed 2.1 percent to reach 865,000 tons.

Pangasius prices continue to climb, thanks to a shortage of catfish and an increase in raw material costs, according to VASEP. Pangasius prices range from VND 36,000 (USD 1.59, EUR 1.42) to 40,000 (USD 1.76,  EUR 1.58) per kg, an increase of VND 10,000 to 12,000, compared to the end of 2016.

Pangasius output in the first four months of 2017 in Mekong Delta provinces is estimated at 335,300 tons, up 1.3 percent over the same period. 

“However, due to late stock raising, many ponds do not take advantage of this opportunity to increase prices,” VASEP said in a statement.

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