In order to achieve the goal, businesses should focus on promoting deep processing and increasing added value, while at the same time proactively seizing opportunities from changes in the market due to the impact of Covid-19 translation.
High growth forecast
Looking through the whole year 2020, shrimp exports achieved very encouraging results.
According to Tran Cong Thang – Director of Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), compared to rival countries in 2020, Vietnam had an advantage due to better control over the Covid-19 epidemic. The main consuming markets such as the US, the European Union (EU), and China gave priority to buying shrimp from Vietnam.
While major shrimp producing countries such as India, Ecuador, and Thailand, etc. all suffer from the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as stagnated production and transport of goods, the decrease in shrimp prices is leading to a decrease in shrimp production.
In addition, the proactive market rotation, taking advantage of the opportunities created by the changes in the market caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, diversifying products suitable for each market segment, has helped businesses in the industry to not only maintain but also increase export turnover. Therefore, the shrimp export turnover reached US$3.7 billion, up 11% compared to 2019. Shrimp have been exported to 135 markets through 508 export enterprises.
The major markets that kept positive growth rates were: the US, with an increase of 33%; the EU (6.1%); the Republic of Korea (ROK) (3.3%), and the UK (20.1%).
In addition, to achieve the good growth in export turnover, the domestic supply also plays a significant role.
In the first months of 2020, shrimp production faced difficulties due to Covid-19 epidemic accompanied by saltwater intrusion in key farming areas, leading to a decrease in brackish water shrimp production, especially black tiger shrimp.
By the end of 2020, brackish water shrimp production had recovered, with the disease under control. The export of brackish water shrimp has been restored; the disease on farmed shrimp is also under control, helping brackish shrimp production grow well, ensuring a sustainable supply for export.
According to the General Department of Fisheries, in 2020, the production of black tiger shrimp reached 267,700 tons, an increase of 1%, and white leg shrimp reached 632,300 tons, up 8.5% over the same period.
In Ca Mau Province, the first months of 2020, many seafood importers have suspended, postponed or canceled deliveries, making seafood export difficult. However, the Government, ministries, central branches, and provincial People’s Committee have promptly implemented many support measures to ensure stable production and business conditions.
At the same time, the EVFTA took effect to create more favorable conditions for businesses to export to EU countries (by 2020, seafood export turnover to the EU reached about US$100 million, accounting for 9.7% of the province’s export turnover, up more than 400% over the same period in 2019).
Experts say that, if the farming and processing stage is well ensured, Vietnam’s shrimp export growth milestones will be achieved in 2021. The introduction of Covid-19 vaccine together with the advantages from FTAs being utilised by businesses will be the driving force for shrimp export activities in 2021.
These forecasts are grounded, as from the beginning of 2021, eight cargo containers, with more than 160 tons of shrimp, owned by Minh Phu Seafood Corp. (at Song Hau Industrial Park, Chau Thanh District, Hau Giang Province), have been exported to potential markets of Vietnam, namely the EU, the US and Japan. This shipment is a good signal for the export shrimp industry in 2021.
Taking advantage of opportunities
According to experts in the fisheries sector, in 2021, Vietnam’s the good control of Covid-19 epidemic and joining bilateral trade agreements with other countries will create favourable conditions for exporters.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), world shrimp demand will continue to increase, especially in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, while the demand for processed seafood eaten at home will increase sharply. VASEP forecasts that shrimp exports can reach an export turnover of US$ 4 to 4.4 billion in 2021.
However, in order to continue good export growth, it is necessary to have specific solutions:
Firstly, it is necessary to organise the production management and management of suitable cultured shrimp breeds, control diseases well and ensure the quality of seed supplied, avoid production risks to stabilise supply, increase high quality products.
Second, it is necessary to ensure the supply of raw materials with sufficient quantity and quality, especially in the farming stage by applying new science and technology.
Third, it is necessary to make good use of market expansion opportunities through increasing supply capacity to compensate for production shortages because other supplying countries are being negatively affected by the Covid-19 epidemic that affecting production and export supply chain; it is necessary to increase competitiveness and market share in big and strategic markets such as the EU, the US, Japan, South Korea, and the UK. It is necessary to improve the quality of export products, take advantage of tariff advantages for pure Vietnamese origin of farmed shrimp products in the new generation of free trade agreements (FTAs).
In order to effectively implement the above solutions, according to IPSARD’s Director Tran Cong Thang, it is necessary to improve the processing capacity of enterprises, focus on technology investment, intensive processing, to meet the needs of importing countries.
The enterprise should develop deeply processed products and value added products to serve a wide range of customers and market segments. Enterprises and farmers need to prepare well the conditions and stocking according to the 2021 seasonal calendar.
It is necessary to attach importance to disease prevention and control, control impurities, chemical and antibiotic residues in shrimp products to ensure disease safety and food safety. In addition, it is necessary to strengthen links between units participating in the production chain in order to improve quality, ensure traceability, and continue to increase the proportion of value-added goods in exporting.
It is necessary to replicate effective models and production chains while maintaining and developing the “output” market. It is also necessary to participate in trade promotion programs to promote seafood products, including processed shrimp, seek new markets and toward sustainable export.