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The US remained as the largest whiteleg shrimp import market of Vietnam
February 08, 2019, 06:08 AM
(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Whiteleg shrimp is the product that plays a key role in the export structure of shrimp to the US, accounting for over 80% of total exported shrimp products to the US. For many years, the United States has maintained the number 1 position of importing whiteleg shrimp of Vietnam.

The US is the second largest shrimp import market of Vietnam after the EU, accounting for 18.2% of Vietnam's total shrimp exports to markets. Shrimp export average turnover to the US reached about 700 million US$ per year, in 2014, shrimp export to the US increased dramatically to over 1 billion US$.

In 2017, Vietnam whiteleg shrimp export to the US reached 536.3 million US$, accounting for over 81% of total shrimp export products to the US. In the first ten months of this year, Vietnam whiteleg shrimp exports to this market still maintained the proportion of 81% of the total shrimp product structure to the US, with 540.4 million US$.

From 2012 onwards, tiger shrimp dominated the structure of exported shrimp products to the US. The proportion of export value was continuously 1.3 to 1.6 higher than that of whiteleg shrimp.

In 2013, whiteleg shrimp for the first time surpassed tiger shrimp in export value to the US thanks to the increase in domestic whiteleg shrimp production.

Economic recession at this time had changed the trend and consumer habits of the American people. In 2013, shrimp market report showed that consumers in this country had switched to using whiteleg shrimp instead of black tiger shrimp, and this trend continued to maintain in 2013.

In 2013, the US became the number one consumer market for Vietnam whiteleg shrimp exports. The supply of whiteleg shrimp from Thailand fell sharply due to the influence of EMS, Vietnam and India have become an alternative supply thanks to the strong increase in the production of whiteleg shrimp of both countries.

From 2013 to 2017, the proportion of white leg shrimp exported to the US was always higher than that of tiger shrimp. During this period, the export value of whiteleg shrimp is nearly 3 times higher than that of tiger shrimp. In 10 years (2008-2017), whiteleg shrimp exports reached a record high in 2014 with 775.7 million USD; accounting for nearly 73% of total shrimp export value of Vietnam to the US.

While whiteleg shrimp exports had fallen in 2017, this year August, September and October had witnessed positive recovery. In the context of a positive anti-dumping tax POR 12 that made competitors such as Thailand reduce exports to the US, along with the US-China trade war, Vietnam whiteleg shrimp exports remained having many opportunities in the US market.

According to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the first 9 months of 2018, the total imports of shrimp to the US reached nearly 492000 MT, worth 4.4 billion USD, up by 4% in volume but down by 4% in value compared to the same period last year. Starting from August this year, importing shrimp into the US has shown signs of recovery after the continuous fall in the 4 consecutive previous months.

The US has an increasing trend of importing warm water shrimp including whiteleg shrimp from Asian countries, reducing cold water shrimp imports from Mexico and Canada. For frozen whiteleg shrimp products, the US mainly imports from India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Ecuador. For processed whiteleg shrimp products, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Indonesia are the main suppliers for the US respectively.

Of the total US shrimp imports, whiteleg shrimp accounted for 69% of total imports, marine shrimp accounted for 7% and tiger shrimp 4%. Meanwhile, the level of whiteleg shrimp farming in Vietnam is quite high with the annual output reaching up to 350000 MT, so the room for exporting white shrimp of Vietnam to the US is still relatively large.

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Ms Kim Thu
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Portal of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)
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