Difficulties in shrimp exports to the EU

VCN - The EU is the largest import market for Vietnam’s shrimps, but exports to this market in 2019 remain difficult.
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difficulties in shrimp exports to the eu
Processed shrimp products are favoured in the EU. Photo: T.H

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in 2019, shrimp exports to the EU will decline. In the first months of 2019, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the EU decreased by 27.6% compared to the same period last year.

The EU is still the largest import market for Vietnam’s shrimp, accounting for 20.5% of total export value. In 2018, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the EU reached US$838.3 million, down 2.8% on a year earlier.

Shrimp exports to the EU grew in the first half of 2018 and tended to decrease in the second half. However, in the first months of 2019, shrimp exports to the EU have not increased.

This is partly due to the increase in global shrimp supply, the decrease of export shrimp prices and the ongoing economic and political disturbances in the EU.

White leg shrimp is the key product exported to EU, accounting for 82% of total shrimp products exported to the EU. The United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, and Germany are the three largest import markets in the EU.

In the EU, the UK is the largest import market for Vietnam’s shrimp, accounting for nearly 33% of total shrimp exports to the EU and accounting for 6.7% of total shrimp exports to all markets.

In the second half of 2018 and the first months of 2019, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the UK were unstable due to the impact of Brexit, partly disturbing the import and export demand for seafood consumption in the UK.

The UK is a remarkable market for Vietnam’s shrimp exporters because exporters are entitled to GSP tax incentives like the general provisions in the exports to EU. Vietnam’s processed shrimp products in the UK market have a higher advantage in price and quality compared to Indian and Bangladeshi products.

Germany is Vietnam's second largest import market for shrimp in the EU, accounting for 3.8% of Vietnam's total shrimp export value to all markets. Vietnam shrimp exports to Germany in the first 2 months of 2019 reached US$14.3 million, down 16.6% compared to the same period in 2018.

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Despite the decrease in export value, the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) which is expected to take effect this year, will provide tariff incentives to which competitors such as India and Thailand are not entitled. So, the EU is still considered a key billion-dollar market for Vietnam shrimp exports in 2019.

In the first 3 months of 2019, shrimp exports to the five main markets decreased, of which exports to the EU fell the most by 27.6%, to Japan fell by 0.9%, to China, the US and South Korea fell by 1.6%, 19.2% and 18%, respectively. In February 2019, only shrimp exports to the Japanese market increased by 14.7%. ​
By Le Thu/ Huyen Trang

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