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Positive sign for Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Australia
April 11, 2018, 08:35 AM
(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Australia is the 16th largest shrimp importer in the world, accounting for 1.5% of total global shrimp imports in 2017.

Each year Australia imports an average of about 40,000 MT of shrimp from other countries. In 5 years (2013-2017), the import volume of shrimp into Australia reached the highest level of 44.5 thousand MT in 2014.

In 2017, Australian shrimp imports totaled 32.3 thousand MT, worth by US$340.4 million, down 21% in volume but up 14% in value compared to 2016. Vietnam was the largest shrimp supplier to Australia, accounting for 32.9% of total Australian shrimp imports. Thailand was the second largest, accounting for 27.4%; followed by China with 25.5%. Australia's shrimp imports from the three biggest suppliers (Vietnam, Thailand and China) all increased by 32.9%, 27.4% and 25.5%, respectively over 2016.

Imports of frozen raw warm water shrimp (HS code 030617) took the largest share of total shrimp imports into Australia, followed by processed shrimp (HS160521). In 2017, imports of frozen raw warm water shrimp accounted for 48.6% of shrimp imports into Australia while those of processed shrimp picked up nearly 30%.

In this period, imports of processed shrimp into the country increased by 90% while those of frozen raw shrimp decreased by 9% due to a ban on uncooked shrimp imports in early 2017. Shrimp prices on the Australian market during this period also increased by 10-15% due to a fall in supplies. Although Australia has now lifted the import ban, with the stricter import conditions, imports of frozen raw shrimp into the country remain low.

On the Australian market, Vietnam shrimp has competitive prices. In 2017, the import price of Vietnam shrimp into Australia quoted at US$10.7/kg; that from Thailand and China was US$10.69/kg and US$10/kg, respectively; and that from India was US$13.5/kg. More and more Australian consumers choose frozen shrimp imported from Asian countries like Thailand and Vietnam thanks to lower prices and improved quality.

In 2017, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Australia hit nearly US$120 million, up 4.6% over 2016. In the first month of 2018, Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Australia showed many positive signs with the growth rate of 169.7% to eye nearly US$11 million.

Processed shrimp made up 78% of Vietnam’s total shrimp exports to this market. In the past 5 years, Vietnam has always been the largest supplier of processed shrimp to Australia.

The demand for shrimp in the market keeps quite high due to the limited catch and processed production of shrimp in the country because of high labor force. Shrimp consumption increased rapidly while domestic supply was not enough to meet demand.

During the first week of March 2017, the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources sent a delegation to Vietnam to inspect and evaluate the process and quality of shrimp production in Vietnam.

During this visit, experts from Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have a very positive view of the Vietnamese shrimp industry. Accordingly, the shrimp industry has approached and applied many solutions and modern technology in production to improve productivity and product quality.

Australian importers appreciate Vietnam shrimp very well. Early evaluations of safe and good production have shown the prospect of Vietnamese whole shrimp exports to Australia.

Currently, more than 90% of shrimp products in Australia are imported. Each year the value of Vietnam's seafood exports to Australia took a low proportion, mainly cooked shrimp. This shows that there is a big opportunity to export whole fresh shrimp to the market.

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Specialist on Shrimp market
Ms Kim Thu
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