Vietnam weathers sharp reduction in shrimp exports to major market

Shrimp sales to the United States from Vietnam may drop by 40 percent year-on-year to USD 638 million (EUR 577 million), according to the latest predictions from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Although demand in the United States will probably rise during the second half of 2015 as a result of falling supply from India, Thailand and Ecuador due to disease, and lower anti-dumping taxes, VASEP doubts Vietnam will gain much from said traction because of the dong’s strength.

“Thanks to higher shrimp demand from the U.S. since late July and positive factors on shrimp supply and final result of POR9, Vietnam shrimp exports to the U.S. in the second half of the year are expected to recover from that of the first half of the year. However, the growth is slight because the value of USD is still high and strong competitiveness in shrimp price in the market,” VASEP said.

During the first half of 2015 (through to June), Vietnamese shrimp exports to the United States gained USD 262.7 million (EUR 236.7 million), down 50.2 percent year-on-year. This accounts for “the sharpest reduction among top 3 largest markets of Vietnam shrimp,” said VASEP.

“The decline was because of low shrimp demand from the U.S. Sharp appreciation of U.S. dollar against other currencies encouraged shrimp exporters to boost exporting to the U.S. which caused high pressure on Vietnam shrimp price. Shrimp demand of the U.S. was quiet since Jan 2015 due to high inventory in 2014,” the association explained.

Meanwhile, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has revealed that shrimp import volumes into the United States have risen by 8 percent to 268,402 metric tons (MT) for the first half of this year, up from the 248,236 MT seen in 2014. However, import value declined by 14.7 percent from USD 3.05 billion (EUR 2.7 billion) last year to USD 2.6 billion (EUR 2.3 billion) this year.

Japan and the European Union, the other two major importers for Vietnam, have made moves to cut their imports by 18.6 percent and 15.2 percent respectively. They’re on the lookout for less expensive shrimp product options, according to Vietnam News.

Shell-on shrimp imports into the United States including easy peel climbed 9.4 percent in June 2015 and jumped 14.3 percent in the first 6 months of 2015, according to VASEP. Moreover, “in June 2015, imports of 31-40 were higher, those of 41-50 were lower. Imports of 16-20 count shrimp were up 101.5 percent y-o-y and 21-25 count shrimp were up 76.6 percent,” association analysts tallied.

A point of positivity for Vietnam may come in the form of the TPP to be signed in the future, which will “create a lot of advantages for Vietnam in the U.S. market on par with other suppliers which haven’t signed the similar agreement with the U.S.,” VASEP concluded.


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