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September 17, 2015


Shrimp Exports Drop 17.5% in the First Eight Months of 2015


The latest statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) show that in the eight months leading up to September 2015, shrimp exports spiraled downwards 17.5%, compared to the same period in 2014, to $4.13 billion.  Volatility in currency exchange rates with the USA dollar significantly impacted shrimp exports and were a significant factor in causing Vietnamese shrimp sales to plummet in both volume and value.  At the current pace, it is unlikely that shrimp exports will hit Vietnam’s 2015 export target of $8 billion.


Outbreaks of early mortality syndrome (EMS) from January to August also sent the industry into a tailspin with infected shrimp ponds having experienced high levels of mortality— in some cases 100%.


As a result of volatile sales prices and higher feed costs brought about by the currency rate changes and disease, many farmers simply opted to get out of the market in the early months of the year, which dried up inventories.


In addition, stiff competition from Thailand and India has discouraged Vietnamese shrimp farmers, who quite simply cannot compete on production cost, quality or prices.  “Although Vietnam is the third largest exporter of shrimp on the global market, we cannot compete with sales prices of neighboring India and Thailand”, said Genera Director Tran Tan Tam of the Vietnam Seafood Corporation.


Professor Ph.D. Dui Chi Buu from the Agricultural Science Institute Vietnam said Vietnam must change its farming models to improve the overall quality and value of shrimp, or the industry will be doomed.


Buu said one way Vietnam is combating EMS is by introducing extensive farming, or what might be considered shrimp ranching.  With this method, shrimp postlarvae are stocked in canals, streams and mangroves in the Mekong Delta and then netted or trapped when the reach large sizes.  No feeding or maintenance is required.  This method has been gaining in popularity and success, Buu said.


Source: Vietmaz.  Shrimp Exports Sink in Volume.  September 11, 2015.

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