VIET NAM – In 2013, Viet Nam’s whiteleg shrimp exports hit $1.58 billion, up 113 per cent year on year and making up 50.7 per cent of the country’s total shrimp exports which surpassed black tiger shrimp sales with $1.33 billion, up only 6.3 per cent and occupying 42.7 per cent of total shrimp sales. In the first month of 2014, the trend was continued.
In January 2014, Vietnam earned over US$258.6 million from shrimp exports including US$157.6 million of whiteleg shrimp sales (making up nearly 61 percent of total shrimp exports) and US$80.64 million of black tiger shrimp sales with the proportion of 31.18 per cent.
In 2013, demand for whiteleg shrimp in main consuming markets (the US, Japan and EU) soared due to short supply. Sharp decline in global shrimp production, particularly whiteleg shrimp in 2013 was caused by Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) outbreak in two largest shrimp producers of Thailand and China.
EMS on farmed shrimp in Viet Nam was well-controlled in 2013, leading a significant increase in the shrimp production. 2013 witnessed a sharp expansion of whiteleg shrimp farming area to 66,000 hectares from 41,800 hectares of 2012 while total shrimp farming area up only 1.6 per cent year on year with 666,000 hectares. Accordingly, the output of whiteleg shrimp rose 50.5 per cent year on year to 280,000 MT from 186,000 MT in 2012.
In the late 2013, many Mekong Delta provinces stocked shrimp, mainly whiteleg for third crop of the year. In the first shrimp crop in 2014, many households shifted to farm whiteleg shrimp instead of farming black tiger shrimp.
Whiteleg shrimp sales to the US up 337.6 per cent
In January 2014, shrimp exports to the US totaled $86.88 million, up 163 per cent year on year. The US is the leading importer of Viet Nam shrimp. In January 2014, shrimp sales to the US made up 33.6 per cent of the country’s total shrimp exports while in the same month of 2013, the proportion of exported shrimp to the market was only 22.2 per cent, equal to exports to Japan.
Positive growth in whiteleg shrimp sales to the US in Jan 2014 showed that Viet Nam’s whiteleg shrimps are favored in the US market.
In Jan 2014, shipment of Viet Nam whiteleg shrimp to the US touched over $67.4 million, up 337.6 per cent from Jan 2013 ($15.4 million).
In the month of 2014, shrimp exports to other major markets also reported a sharp surge: exports to Japan and EU up 64.3 per cent, exports to South Korea up 143.5 per cent, to Australia up 96 per cent; however, shrimp exports to China downed 37.7 per cent.