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EU Shrimp Imports from Viet Nam Still on Downtrend

23 July 2013

VIET NAM - In 2012, the EU imported nearly US$4.5 billion of shrimp products, down over 30.5 per cent compared to that of 2011. This was the sharpest drop recorded since 1995.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), deepening Euro-area recession and rising consumer prices, coupled with austerity measures in some countries, have affected the EU shrimp market.

EU imports from main sources saw a significant drop in 2012. Ecuador – the largest supplier – got 13.9 per cent decrease in export value from US$631.4 million in 2011 to US$543.5 million in 2012. Supplies from India and Thailand also fell 11.2 per cent and 35.4 per cent respectively.

In 2012, Viet Nam ranked seventh among main shrimp suppliers to the EU with total value of US$220 million, down 41.9 per cent on that of 2011.

EU shrimp market was predicted to show no sign of improvement during the first half of 2013, as the region has been suffering impacts of economic recession and declining supplies from some main producing countries like Thailand due to shrimp disease.

According to Globefish report, after being quiet for the past few months, European shrimp market began to show signs of improvement since late February 2013. Imports from Asia is increasing.

Referring to statistics from International Trade Centre (ITC), shrimp imports into the EU totaled US$883 million between January and March 2013, down 8.4 per cent from the corresponding period of 2012.

However, EU considerably increased imports from some Asian countries. In the first three months of 2013, purchase from India had a worth of US$103.7 million, up 6.59 per cent from US$96.89 million in the same time of 2012. Shrimps from Bangladesh rose 7.69 per cent from US$59 million to US$63.9 million.

Other shrimp suppliers such as Ecuador, Thailand and Viet Nam continued seeing drop of 14.1per cent, 22.7 per cent and 15.1 per cent respectively.

With positive growth in the first three months of 2013, India has passed Ecuador to be the leading supplier to the EU.

India and Bangladesh keep increasing exports to the region as they have more advantages than other suppliers.

Bangladesh shrimp exporters to the EU have been beneficiaries to zero-per cent duty rate as the country gained EU’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). Whiteleg shrimp harvests of India has been increased in the recent years, helping it to broaden shares in main importing markets like the EU and the U.S. In January – March 2013, U.S. shrimp imports from India increased 69.2 per cent over the same period of 2012.

Viet Nam and Thailand will find hard to boost shrimp exports to the EU in 2013 when their shrimp production are still being affected by shrimp disease.

TheFishSite News Desk

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