Vietnam becomes Australia’s largest shrimp supplier

10:39 | 03/01/2017 Trade

(VEN) - According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia, in the first nine  months of 2016, Vietnam continued to be the largest supplier of shrimp to Australia, representing nearly 33 percent of Australia’s shrimp imports during the same period.  

vietnam remains biggest shrimp supplier for australia
Processing shrimp for exports (Photo: VNA)

In the first eight months of this year, Australia imported more than 18,000 tonnes of shrimp worth over US$167 million, up 2.1 percent in volume but down 9.2 percent in value compared to the same period of 2015.

Australia has become the world’s ninth largest shrimp importer, accounting for about 1.9 percent of the global shrimp export value. It is the seventh biggest importer of Vietnamese shrimp, representing 3.3 percent of the country’s shrimp export value. Vietnam experienced the highest monthly shrimp export growth in March and September (18.4 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively). Shrimp exports peaked in September, hitting more than US$12 million. Meanwhile, over US$75 million export value in the third quarter highlighted a recovery after the first two quarters, but still down 9.9 percent compared to the same period last year.

The Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia said that over the past five years, Vietnam has always been the biggest supplier of processed shrimp to Australia. However, Vietnam has only been licensed to export boiled, marinated and powder-breaded shrimp but hasn’t been permitted to export raw frozen products to this market. Meanwhile, Australia’s demand for raw frozen shrimp is relatively high.

The Vietnamese relevant authorities are negotiating with their Australian counterparts to enable Vietnamese businesses to export raw frozen shrimp to Australia. In the fourth quarter of 2016, an Australian technical team will be in Vietnam to conduct quarantine inspections for a license to export Vietnamese raw frozen shrimp to Australia. According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia, Australia is willing to consider permitting raw frozen shrimp imports from Vietnam. If everything is fine, Vietnamese businesses will soon handle their first raw frozen shrimp shipment to Australia.

Australia has increasingly strict biosecurity and food safety standards. If Vietnam becomes the first country to be licensed to export raw frozen shrimp to Australia, it will have the opportunity to increase shrimp exports to Australia and many other foreign markets.

Shrimp is one of the first seafood choices of consumers in Australia. About 50,000-60,000 tonnes of shrimp are sold in Australia annually. Australia imported 30,000 tonnes of shrimp each year. So far, no country has been licensed to export raw frozen shrimp to Australia, as they haven’t met Australia’s strict regulations on disease control and food safety.

Bao Ngoc