Vietnamese shrimp exports to the US may benefit from US-China trade conflict

08:36 | 09/08/2018 Trade

The United States-China trade war may create opportunities for Vietnam to increase its exports of shrimp to the US, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The trade war between the two powerful countries is anticipated to create a direct impact on Vietnamese seafood, including shrimp - Illustrative image

The trade war between the two powerful countries is anticipated to create a direct impact on economies across world, including Vietnam. Vietnamese seafood, including shrimp, will also suffer from certain impacts.

The trade conflict has urged the US and China to raise their import tariffs, resulting in a slowdown in trade flow between the two countries. Countries supplying shrimp to China, such as Canada, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as shrimp suppliers to the US, such as Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Brazil and Vietnam, will benefit from the move.

The US import tariff of 10 pct on shrimp products imported from China, coded HS 03061700, 16052105, 16052110, 16052905, and 16052910, are also Vietnamese shrimp products that have strength in the US market.

These products are capable of competing with Chinese products in terms of price and tax rates in the US market, which can be considered as an advantage for Vietnam to increase the exports of these products to the US.

Moreover, Vietnamese shrimp have established a certain position in the US market, thus US importers will be likely to choose Vietnam as an alternative source due to the declines from the Chinese side.

Due to high tax rates when exporting shrimps to the US, China will reduce the import of raw shrimp for processing and re-export. This may affect Vietnam's exports of raw shrimp to China, as China's import of Vietnamese fresh/raw/frozen shrimp accounts for 94 pct of Vietnam's total shrimp exports to China in 2017.

In the context of the trade war, both China and the US will set more stringent technical barriers to Vietnamese products exported to these markets. However, this is also an opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to assert their position and improve the quality of their products and the transparency of their origin in order to gain the market share from China in the US market.

The trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies remains unpredictable and its impacts on other economies are also unknown. Shrimp exporters should consider this as an opportunity to affirm their own position and enhance the pro-activeness in trade exchanges, while making full use of the signed free trade agreements.

Businesses also need to actively update the list of goods subject to taxation of both countries, as well as the rise of exchange rates of the US dollar and Chinese yuan, in order to make a timely response.

Theo NDO