Shrimp exports in the first 06 months of 2023 decreased sharply to nearly 32% compared to the same period last year. The Department of Quality, Processing, and Market Development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) forecast that in the last months of the year, inflation and inventory in markets tend to decrease, helping shrimp exports increase again…

On the afternoon of July 21, 2023, in Ho Chi Minh City, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) organized the “Online forum to connect production, processing, and export of Vietnam’s shrimp”.

Vietnam is the world’s second-largest shrimp exporter.


Speaking at the forum, Mr. Le Thanh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Department of Quality, Processing and Market Development (MARD) said that every year, the shrimp industry contributes about 40 – 45% of the total value of seafood exports, equivalent to 3.5 – 4 billion USD. Vietnam’s shrimp has been exported to about 100 countries and territories, with 05 major markets including Europe, the US, Japan, China, and Korea.

Vietnam has become the second-largest shrimp supplier in the world with the export value accounting for 13-14% of the total shrimp export value of the world. Vietnam’s shrimp export turnover in 2022 set a record when it reached 4.3 billion USD, up 11.2% compared to 2021.

However, the shrimp market in the first 06 months of 2023 is very gloomy. Shrimp export turnover only reached 1.5 billion USD, down to 32% compared to the same period last year. In particular, shrimp exports to the 05 main markets (the US, EU, Japan, China – Hong Kong, and Korea) decreased by two figures at the same time, the EU market decreased by 48.9%, the US 38.1%, Korea 28%, Japan 29%, and China-Hong Kong 15.7% respectively over the same period in 2022.

“However, recently, the shrimp market has been warming up. It is forecast that in the last months of 2023, inflation and inventory in markets tend to decline and the increase in demand for year-end festivals will help shrimp exports recover”, Mr. Hoa said. At the same time, Vietnam has more than 370 specialized processing establishments eligible to export shrimp with a capacity of over 1.7 million tons/year.

Shrimp processing enterprises are mainly concentrated in the South Central and the Mekong Delta provinces. Shrimps are processed in a variety of forms to meet the market demand. There are many products with high added value such as breaded shrimp, Nobashi shrimp, Sushi, Tempura, etc. Thereby, our products satisfy even the most difficult market – Japan. In addition, businesses have taken advantage of some shrimp by-products to produce high-value-added products such as chitin, chitosan, glucosamine, astaxanthin, etc.

Shrimp exports will grow again thanks to positive market factors.


Regarding the US market, Mr. Pham Quang Huy – Agricultural Counselor, Vietnam Trade Office in the US, said that this country’s domestic shrimp production only meets 10% of consumer demand, the remaining 90% comes from imports from Central America and South Asia. In particular, the US is the largest shrimp export market of Vietnam, mainly white-leg shrimp and giant tiger prawns.

For Vietnamese shrimp, according to data from the US Trade, in the first 05 months of 2023, export turnover to the US reached more than 200 million USD, down 44% over the same period last year. This decline was due to some reasons including inflation and high raw material prices compared to the markets.

Commenting on the second half of the year, Mr. Huy said that there were positive signals. For example, inventories have declined, and US businesses have started to make purchases again. In addition, Mr. Huy also emphasized some advantages of the US market such as interest rates do not increase, inflation decreasing, and purchasing power gradually returning.

However, Mr. Huy advised Vietnamese enterprises to keep full documents of the production and processing process to retrieve information for on-the-spot inspections of US authorities.

Sharing about the trend of shrimp consumption in the Nordic market, Ms. Hoang Thi Hoang Thuy – Trade Counselor Vietnam Trade Office in Sweden, concurrently Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Latvia, said that Nordic countries always pioneer climate change and environmental protection. Recently, the European Green Agreement has had a farm-to-dining table strategy, emphasizing the potential of seafood, including shrimp. Therefore, consumers tend to reduce their consumption of meat, especially red meat, and switch to seafood.

According to Ms. Thuy, the EU has introduced new regulations to ensure that all organic products sold in the EU have the same standards. Therefore, if you want to do business in supermarkets in Northern Europe, you need to have safe and sustainable production certificates, of which two required certificates are the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) for wild-caught and farmed seafood.

 It is neccessary to develope shrimp farming and other stages in the shrimp production chain towards high technology.


Mr. Ngo The Anh, Head of Aquaculture Department (Department of Seafood, MARD) said that in the past 05 years (2018 – 2022), the shrimp industry has maintained a relatively stable farming area of more than 700,000 ha.

In the first half of 2023, Vietnam’s farming area of brackish shrimp reached 656,000 ha, up 6.4% over the same period last year, with 605,000 ha of giant tiger shrimp and 51,000 ha of white-leg shrimp. Vietnam’s brackish shrimp output reached 467,000 tons, up 4.1% over the same period in 2022.

According to Mr. Ngo The Anh, the shrimp industry is facing challenges such as climate change and drought in the Mekong Delta, causing the risk of disease outbreaks. We are depending on imports and natural exploitation for aquatic varieties so it is difficult to control quality.

In addition, the infrastructure of farming areas is not guaranteed. Small and fragmented production still accounts for the majority. The connection between the production chain and export is not effective. In particular, the production cost is high so the competitiveness is low.

“In particular, Vietnam Trade Offices abroad need to study and grasp market needs and regulations so that the Ministry and industry can orient the development of shrimp product market, strengthen business trade connections to promote exports”.

Mr. Tran Thanh Nam, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

To bring shrimp exports back on the growth track, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam asked the Department of Quality, Processing, and Market Development to closely coordinate with the Agricultural Trade Counselors abroad to update market regulations, remove trade barriers to promote exports; grasp and make the most of opportunities to promote exports to markets where Vietnam has signed free trade agreements.

The MARD suggested that the Ministry of Industry and Trade should speed up negotiations to sign trade agreements to diversify product markets; support businesses to take advantage of opportunities from agreements; prioritize trade promotion resources to expand markets, and connect trade to promote shrimp exports.

For the shrimp industry to develop sustainably, Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam said that it is necessary to continue promoting the development of shrimp farming and other stages in the shrimp production chain towards high technology; organize production in the direction of association and certified production (VietGAP, GlobalGAP, ASC) to improve the quality and reduce the cost to increase the competitiveness of shrimp products in the world market.

We need to apply new science and technology to improve productivity, product quality, and efficiency to meet market demands; develop shrimp farming and production stages towards high-tech to reduce direct labor and limit disease outbreaks./.