Vietnam’s shrimp exports in March 2023 reached 265 million USD, down 33% compared to the same period last year. Accumulated in the first 3 months of the year, exports reached 600 million USD, down 37%.
Shrimp exports to main markets simultaneously decreased by double digits in March this year. In which, exports to Japan and South Korea decreased by around 20%, exports to the US, EU, and China decreased by about 40%.
In the structure of shrimp exports, the export value of whiteleg shrimp reached US$451 million (accounting for 75.2%), down 38% over the same period. The export value of black tiger shrimp reached $83 million, down 34% while other shrimp exports reached $65 million, down 34%.
Japan is Vietnam’s largest shrimp import market, accounting for 17.6%. In the first quarter of 2023, shrimp exports to this market reached more than US$105 million, down 29% over the same period. Japan’s shrimp import demand this year is expected to remain stable. Japan is the target market of many businesses this year thanks to stable demand, low inflation, better profit margins due to the high proportion of refined and mixed goods.
In the first quarter of 2023, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the US reached more than US$104 million, down 46% over the same period. Record inflation, reduced purchasing power, and high inventories from 2022 are all factors that reduce the demand for shrimp imports into the US. The situation of US shrimp imports from Vietnam depends a lot on the current inventory. If the situation is positive, import demand may recover after the second quarter of this year.
According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, by February 2023, shrimp imports to the US from Vietnam reached 6,322 tons, worth $66 million, down 44% in volume and 49% in value over the same period in 2022. The average price of shrimp imports from Vietnam in the first 2 months of 2023 decreased by 1 USD/kg over the same period last year from 11.4 USD/kg to 10.4 USD/kg. Two shrimp products with HS codes 1605211030 and 1605211020 are still the two most imported products into the US in the first period.
In the first quarter of this year, shrimp exports to the EU reached $89 million, down 44% over the same period. Shrimp exports to the EU in 2023 are forecast to be not positive due to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.
In the first half of 2023, Korea’s shrimp imports will slow down due to economic difficulties, then recover. In the first quarter of this year, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to South Korea reached $78 million, down 25% over the same period.
Vietnam’s shrimp exports in 2023 will face challenges from inflation, the global economic downturn affecting the consumption of major markets. Besides, Vietnamese shrimp must compete directly with Ecuador and India in terms of price. Import demand is expected to recover from the second quarter thanks to the lower price trend.
Enterprises need to optimize costs, focus on developing added value, improve product quality, redirect the export of country-specific products such as shrimp-forest, shrimp-rice, and actively change products structure to meet the needs of each market segment, prepare raw materials and production capacity to keep pace when shrimp demand in the world market recovers.
In 2022, Vietnam’s brackish water shrimp farming area reached about 747,000 hectares with an output of more than 1 million tons, an increase of 8.5% compared to 2021. In 2023, Vietnam’s shrimp industry aims to reach 750,000 area ha with an output of more than 1 million tons of shrimp of all kinds and strives for an export turnover of approximately $4.3 billion.
Vietnam’s shrimp industry still faces many difficulties and challenges in both input and output related to the supply of raw materials from seed quality, disease control, the ratio of area and production of shrimp farming qualified by GAP and organic certification standards is still low. The production cost of shrimp is still much higher than that of Ecuador and India. To achieve the set goals, the shrimp industry needs the support of the Government and ministries and sectors and the active participation of stakeholders in the shrimp value chain.