09:06 | 26/09/2019 EVFTA
(VEN) - After falling sharply in the first half of 2019, shrimp exports to many markets are expected to recover in the remaining months of the year due to recently signed free trade agreements (FTA), including the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreements (EVFTA).
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in the first half of 2019, Vietnam exported shrimp worth US$1.4 billion, down 12 percent compared to the same period of 2018. Shrimp sales to the EU - the largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp - reached US$300.5 million, down 25.9 percent compared to the same period last year, while those to the US - the third biggest importer of Vietnamese shrimp - fell two percent and those to China dropped 4.9 percent to reach US$233.5 million.
According to Nhu Van Can, Director of the Department of Aquaculture under the Directorate of Fisheries, Vietnamese shrimp face fierce competition from other countries, including India and Ecuador.
Although shrimp exports faced difficulties in the first half of this year, the Department of Agro Processing and Market Development of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expects sales to the EU will recover in the coming time thanks to EVFTA.
According to the Agency of Foreign Trade under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in the Republic of Korea (RoK), Vietnamese shrimp product coded HS 030617 is facing price competition from product of the same kind from Ecuador, China and India. But, Vietnamese shrimp has an advantage over Ecuadorian and Chinese product thanks to the FTA that Vietnam has signed with the RoK, which imposes zero percent tax on shrimp imports from Vietnam, Malaysia, India and Thailand, 20 percent duty on imports from Ecuador and a 14.6 percent tax on those from China.
The Agency of Foreign Trade recommends Vietnam’s shrimp exporters to study the Vietnam-Korea Free Trade Agreement (VKFTA) to choose suitable incentives and change technology and product development orientation in accordance with the needs of the RoK market in order to increase sales. Apart from shrimp coded HS 030617, the RoK tends to increase the import of processed shrimp coded HS 160521, an agency representative said.
Former Chairman of VASEP Dr. Ho Quoc Luc said that along with taking advantage of new generation FTAs, businesses should pay due heed to shrimp product branding. Customer trust, as well as product quality, should assume top priority, as should adherence to contract deadlines, he said.
Director of the Department of Aquaculture Nhu Van Can said the main shrimp season in India is over, while shrimp demand in different markets including China remains very high. Vietnam is signing or will sign and implement many FTAs, while tariffs will decrease sharply, Can said. All these are favorable factors that will help shrimp exports recover in the remaining months of the year, he said. He added that Vietnamese exporters must make a serious effort to reduce product costs and improve product quality.
Shrimp exports are expected to hit US$4.2 billion in 2019, reaching the target set by the fisheries sector.