Việt Nam has many opportunities to increase white-leg shrimp exports to the European Union (EU) in the future, according to the Việt Nam Association Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
The association said Vietnamese shrimp has a competitive advantage over other major competitors in the EU market such as India and Thailand. These countries have seen a reduction in their exports to the EU due to problems relating to quality standards.
Meanwhile, the Việt Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is expected to come into effect next year so Việt Nam will be allowed to avoid import tariffs on shrimp and processed shrimp.
In addition, more European consumers are buying shrimp in supermarkets, instead of eating shrimp at restaurants. This is an advantage for white-leg shrimp exports because the volume of white shrimp in the EU’s retail market is increasing, according to the VASEP.
European restaurants often use tiger prawns because of their taste and size, but the economic crisis has made white shrimp more popular. This is an opportunity for businesses that can provide white shrimp at lower prices.
In terms of processed products, demand for steamed shrimp in MAP (modified atmospheric packaging) is increasing in the European market, according to VASEP.
To promote shrimp exports to the EU, local enterprises should increase the number of farms and factories that are certified for good farming practices and meet environmental and quality standards, the association said. They also should increase the number of factories with upgraded processing lines meeting European retail standards.
VASEP reported the EU is the largest export market of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 24.7 per cent of Việt Nam’s total shrimp exports. Việt Nam’s shrimp exports to this market as of September this year reached US$648.4 million, up 11 per cent over the same period in 2017.
Of which, the UK is the largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 27 per cent of Việt Nam’s shrimp exports to the EU. In the first nine months of this year, shrimp exports to the UK reached nearly $176 million, up 27.6 per cent year on year.
Over the past three years, Vietnamese shrimp exports to the UK have grown steadily from $114.6 million in 2014 to $210.6 million in 2017, up nearly 84 per cent.
The Netherlands is the second largest export market of Vietnamese shrimp in the EU, after the UK. In the first nine months of this year, shrimp exports to the Netherlands reached $158.6 million, up 11.6 per cent year on year. Việt Nam was the largest supplier of shrimp to the Netherlands, accounting for 37.6 per cent of the total import value to this market in 2017.
In the structure of Vietnamese shrimp products exported to the Netherlands, white shrimp accounted for the highest volume of 86 per cent, followed by black tiger shrimp at 10 per cent and other kinds of shrimp at 4 per cent.