Vietnam’s shrimp, pangasius exports to UK grow

Published on
October 20, 2020

The United Kingdom is one of rare markets that saw a growth in sales of both shrimp and pangasius from Vietnam this year, according to data from Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Vietnam exported shrimp worth USD 161.2 million (EUR 137.5 million) to the U.K. between 1 January and 15 September this year, an increase of 15 percent from the same period in 2019. Sales declined in January, but rose every month from February to August on year-on-year basis.

Last year, the U.K. was the largest buyer of Vietnamese shrimp within the European Union, accounting for 39 percent of the total value of shrimp sales from Vietnam to the bloc. Export values of Vietnamese shrimp sold to the U.K. increased sharply to USD 202.5 million (EUR 173 million) last year, up 55.8 percent from nearly USD 130 million (EUR 111 million) in 2015. With the finalization of Brexit, the U.K. will become the sixth-largest single market for Vietnamese shrimp in value.

Vietnam has been the largest supplier of shrimp to the U.K. for several years, accounting for around 24 percent of market share. India and Thailand were also major sellers of shrimp to the U.K.

The U.K. has increased purchase of warm-water shrimp from Vietnam and India to replace cold-water shrimp from Greenland and Eastern Canada due to the latter’s lower quota and higher prices, VASEP said.

Shrimp exported from Vietnam to the U.K. will still benefit from the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which entered into force from the beginning of August, until the end of this year. Therefore, Vietnamese shrimp will remain more competitive from a price perspective than shrimp from India and Bangladesh. But in the long-term, VASEP recommended the country’s exporters pay more attention to providing high-quality and sustainable products to meet the growing demand from this developed market.

Separately, in a year that saw exports of pangasius fall significantly in most of Vietnam’s major markets, the growth of shipments to the U.K. came as a surprise. Sales to the U.K. went up 23.8 percent year-on-year to USD 46.8 million (EUR 39.9 million) in the first eight months of 2020. In August, the value of Vietnam's pangasius exports to the U.K. grew 56.3 percent year-on-year, according to VASEP.

Photo courtesy of VASEP

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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