Considerable opportunities for Vietnamese white-leg shrimp exports to EU

Friday, 2018-11-09 12:47:49
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Exports of Vietnamese shrimp to the EU reached US$648.4 million as of September this year (illustrative image)
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NDO - The Europe Union (EU) is the Vietnam's largest importer of shrimp, accounting for 24.7% of Vietnam's total shrimp exports to markets across the world. Exports of Vietnamese shrimp to the EU reached US$648.4 million as of September this year, up 11% over the same period in 2017.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the EU currently imports around 28% of the total shrimp worldwide (in terms of value), with an annual import value ranging from US$6-8 billion. Imports of shrimp into the EU increased from US$5.6 billion to US$6.9 billion in 2017. The exports of Vietnamese shrimp, especially white-leg shrimp, to some markets in the EU can take advantage of opportunities to grow further.

On October 17, the European Commission (EC) submitted for approval the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to prepare for the signing and completion of the deal. After the effectiveness of the EVFTA, the import tax on Vietnamese raw shrimp and processed shrimp into this market will be reduced.

The increasing proportion of white-leg shrimp in the EU retail market, in addition to its lower prices compared to tiger shrimp, is providing more opportunities for Vietnamese exports of white-leg shrimp.

In order to boost shrimp sales to the EU, Vietnamese enterprises should increase the number of farms and factories certified for good farming practices and ensuring environmental and social standards while increasing the number of upgraded factories meeting European retail standards.

The UK and the Netherlands are now the two largest importers of Vietnamese shrimp in the EU. Vietnam's shrimp exports to both markets showed positive growth in the first nine months of this year, which increased by 27.6% and 11.6% respectively over the same period last year.

Of the two, the UK is the largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp in the EU, accounting for 27% of Vietnam's shrimp exports to the EU and 6.7% of Vietnam's total shrimp exports to foreign markets. Vietnam's shrimp exports to the UK reached nearly US$176 million in the first nine months of this year, a rise of 27.6% over the corresponding period last year.

Over the last three years, Vietnam shrimp exports to the UK have grown steadily from US$114.6 million in 2014 to US$210.6 million in 2017, a sharp increase of nearly 84%.

Vietnamese shrimp exports to the UK tend to go up with the European country pushing the import of warm water shrimp, replacing cold water shrimp, due to its affordable prices. The UK prefers prawn products such as frozen processed white-leg shrimp, headless PUD shrimp, and frozen IQF raw white-leg shrimp.

The Netherlands is the second largest shrimp import market of Vietnam after the UK among EU countries. In the first nine months of this year, Vietnam's shrimp exports to the Netherlands posted at US$158.6 million, an annual increase of 11.6%. Vietnam is currently the largest supplier of shrimp to the Netherlands, accounting for 37.6% of the total shrimp import value of this market in 2017.

White-leg shrimp accounts for 86% of Vietnam's total shrimp exports to the Netherlands, followed by black tiger shrimp at 10% and other shrimp at 4%. The Netherlands currently has increasing demand for Vietnamese processed white-leg shrimp coded HS 16.

Vietnamese shrimp still maintains its competitive advantages over other competitors in the EU market such as India and Thailand. These rivals are facing declines in shrimp exports to the EU due to problems with quality standards.