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Shrimp sector aims high despite declining exports
By Trung Chanh
Thursday,  Mar 14, 2019,18:28 (GMT+7)

Shrimp sector aims high despite declining exports

By Trung Chanh

The shrimp sector looks to earn US$4.1 billion in export turnover in 2019. In this file photo, a man holds shrimps grown in line with hi-tech standards at a farming facility of Viet Uc Corporation – PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH

CAN THO - The local shrimp sector expects significant growth as it envisages export revenue to increase by US$500 million this year to US$4.1 billion, although shrimp exports have kept plunging in the year to date.

The potential of the shrimp sector had yet to be fully exploited last year, with shrimp export turnover reaching US$3.6 billion, dropping 7.8% versus the 2017 figure, Nhu Van Can, head of the Department of Aquaculture, under the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries, told a meeting titled “Introducing plans to develop the shrimp sector in 2019", held on March 13 in Soc Trang Province.

Also, a report from the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) indicated that the sector saw a 12% decrease in export turnover in the first two months of the year to approximately US$390 million.

However, Can expected the local shrimp sector would bounce back and generate huge profits this year, with export turnover likely hitting US$4.1 billion.

As for VASEP, it pinned higher hopes on the sector’s performance, with a target export revenue of US$4.2 billion, according to Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP.

The VASEP representative attributed the decline in the shrimp export turnover last year to the price drop and the weak competitiveness of local shrimp exporters versus major foreign shrimp exporters in India, Indonesia and Thailand.

If the shrimp price in the market rebounds and competiveness of local exporters grows, the shrimp sector would see strong growth this year, said Hoe.

To realize this year's target, Hoe said that the sector has to make efforts to overcome existing barriers that hamper shrimp exports to the United States, Europe, and mainland China, including anti-dumping tariffs and close supervision by the U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP), and standards set by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), which is an independent, non-profit organization with the primary goal to manage global standards for responsible aquaculture.

Local shrimp farmers should acquire more ASC certificates to export more shrimps to Europe, whose markets consume a huge volume of seafood with the ASC quality mark. To date, over 48,000 tons of local shrimps meet ASC standards and the figure should increase, Hoe said.

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