VASEP said tuna and tra fish exports surged by 23.1% and 15.2% year-on-year respectively in January- March. Meanwhile, shrimp exports as the key item in Vietnam’s fisheries lagged behind, or even contracted 2.4% in the first half of March.
VASEP attributed the shrimp export slowdown to a drop in consumption demand for shrimp in big markets. Shrimp exports to EU dropped by 21%, while exports to Canada went down 6.1% and the U.S. fell 1%.
Given global economic uncertainty, low purchasing power in major markets namely the EU and the U.S. has dragged down export prices. As of end-March, the price of white-legged shrimp and tiger shrimp exported stateside fell to US$3.92 a pound and US$7.22 a pound from the year-ago level of US$4.4 and &US$7.4 a pound.
Vietnam will encounter difficulties in exporting shrimp to the EU, which is struggling in the economic downturn, said Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP.
Meanwhile, Asia has emerged as a potential market for Vietnam-grown shrimp.
The country earned US$38.82 million in shrimp exports to China and Hong Kong, up 45.4%. It increased by 11.4% its shrimp exports to South Korea with the revenue of US$26.11 million while ASEAN brought US$6.73 million, or a 14.9% increase.
* Cho Lon Investment Export and Import Company, or Cholimex, has plans to invest VND45 billion in developing a high-tech white-leg shrimp farming project in HCMC’s Can Gio District.
Speaking at a meeting with the HCMC government on Wednesday, Huynh An Trung, deputy general director of Cholimex, said the project initially will be piloted on an area of 1.2 hectares and then the enterprise will hand over farming technology to Can Gio farmers.
Dinh The Hien, director of the Institute of Applied Informatics and Economic Research, which provides consultancy for Cholimex, said the Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has given nod to high-tech shrimp farming in the outlying district.
The institute will evaluate investment costs of current farming techniques to compare with that of Cholimex, Hien said.
Under Cholimex’s technology, less chemicals will be used to treat water and diseases.
According to the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Can Gio earlier had only 800 hectares for white-leg shrimp farming, or 13.3% of the total farming area. The figure has expanded to 6,000 hectares, or 90% of total area, now as farmers fear a strong disease outbreak in tiger shrimps.