Black tiger shrimp for export. (Photo: Stock File)
Shrimp exports fell in July
Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 01:10 (GMT + 9)
Vietnamese shrimp exporters gained a whole value of USD 200.49 million in revenue in July, 2012, representing down 6.8 per cent compared to the previous month. All in all, in the first months of 2012, Vietnam exported shrimp for USD 1,215.7 million, amounting to a 2.5 per cent rise year-on-year.
Shrimp exports to Vietnam’s three main markets – Japan, the US and the European Union (EU) – fell by 1.4 per cent (USD 52.97 million) in July; 26.7 per cent (USD 42.26 million); and 13.8 per cent (USD 32.57 million), respectively, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) in cooperation with Vietnam Customs.
Despite these drops recorded in July, however, Japan still reported a climb of 22.5 per cent between January-July 2012 compared to the same period las year, reaching USD 328.74 million.
Meanwhile, exports to the US and the EU keep falling: during the first seven months of 2012, exports to the US fell by 9.4 per cent and reached USD 248.42 million while those to the EU skid by 22.7 per cent, amounting to USD 172.64 million.
Last July, Japan’s imports made up 26.4 per cent of Vietnamese shrimp exports while the US accounted for 21.1 per cent and the EU accounted for 16.2 per cent. Considering the period between January and July, the respective shares of those markets were: 27 per cent, 20.4 per cent and 14.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, Germany’s exports of Vietnamese shrimp jumped by 10.6 per cent in July this year, reaching USD 9.23 million, taking up 4.6 per cent of Vietnam’s shrimp exports.
Although Japan is a key importer of Vietnam’s shrimp, Vietnam could soon lose this market as a result of Japan’s requirement of very low ethoxyquin content in shrimp products.
On 31 August, Japanese authorities ordered to have 100 per cent of the consignments of shrimp products imported from Vietnam tested for ethoxyquin, to ensure that its content did not exceed 0.001 ppm. Products which do not satisfy this requirement must be rejected.
VASEP argued that this regulation is unreasonable, as ethoxyquin is an antioxidant widely used in animal feed. VASEP also noted that in most countries worldwide, the allowed ethoxyquin content levels are much higher: between 75 ppm and 150 ppm, VietNamNet Bridge reports.
Chairperson of the Shrimp Committee Ho Quoc Luc has spoken about concerns of a possible stop in shrimp exports to Japan this very year. Japan has also been testing for the banned substances trifluralin and enrofloxacin after detecting one shipment containing antibiotic residues some months ago, and authorities have stated that if Japan detects two other shipments with these residues, it will halt all imports of Vietnamese shrimp.
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By Natalia Real