Vietnam's Shrimp Export Value Rises 11% YoY to $4.3 Billion in 2022 Driven by Growth in Processed Products

Published Jan 24, 2023
•Processed shrimp exports showed the fastest growth.
•Considerable growth in exports to Europe, China, Japan and other countries more than offset losses in exports to the US.
•Chinese demand is expected to strengthen with the lifting of pandemic restrictions, US demand is expected to recover after Q1 2023.

According to the Vietnamese Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (VASEP), Vietnam’s shrimp export value rose 11% year-over-year (YoY) to $4.3 billion in 2022. Growth in exports to Europe, China, Japan, Korea, Australia and other countries managed to more-than-offset losses in exports to the US.

Processed shrimp products experienced the fastest growth. Exports of processed vannamei shrimp increased by 11% YoY, while exports of processed black tiger shrimp rose 15% YoY. Meanwhile, exports of fresh or frozen vannamei shrimp increased by 3% YoY, while exports of fresh/frozen black tiger shrimp declined by 7 YoY%. Indeed, according to local reports from Vietnam, shrimp companies succeeded in making profits by focusing on processed products.

According to the VASEP, exports to the EU totaled $691 million, which represents an increase of 13% YoY. Unprocessed frozen shrimp exports also saw growth in Europe. According to Eurostat data, EU 27 frozen shrimp (HS Code 030617) imports from Vietnam in January-November 2022 totaled 34.49 thousand mt, with a total worth of EUR 351.54 million. Compared to the same period in 2021, volume and value climbed 21% and 47%, respectively. The import unit value for this product increased by 22% YoY to EUR 10.19/kg.

Among the European importers, in terms of import volume, Belgium experienced the largest growth (+3.36 thousand mt) and became the largest European buyer of Vietnamese frozen shrimp, holding 26% of the European share. Following Belgium came Denmark, with the second largest growth (+1.3 thousand mt) to continue holding the second largest share (22%). Meanwhile, Netherlands' imports decreased by 108 mt, to hold 19% of the European share. Belgium and the Netherlands are considered a “hub” for seafood imports into Europe, which are then redirected into other European countries.

Another factor contributing to the growth of exports to Europe is the Europe-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which sets a 0% tariff rate to frozen shrimp and preferential tariffs to other shrimp products.

Exports to Japan, according to the VASEP, totaled $671 million, up by 16% YoY. Meanwhile, exports to China totaled $664 million, rising 61% YoY. Chinese demand is expected to continue strong with the lifting of pandemic-driven restrictions.

Exports to Mexico, Canada, and Australia also registered double-digit growth, boosted by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which grants preferential tariffs for shrimp products. Further planned reductions in tariffs due to this agreement will likely continue to boost trade.

Meanwhile, exports to the US totaled $807 million, which represents a decline of 23% YoY. The decline in exports to the US can be explained by the creation of a large inventory by early 2022. Retail demand slowed down by H2 2022.

According to USDA data, US frozen shrimp (HS Code 030617) imports from Vietnam in January-November 2022 totaled 22.8 thousand mt, with a total worth of $297 million. In terms of volume, imports declined 31% YoY, while in terms of value, imports decreased by 25% YoY. The average import unit value from Vietnam was $13.0/kg, up by 9% YoY. Frozen shrimp imports from Vietnam represented 4% of the US total. The VASEP forecasts that US demand could improve after Q1 2023. 

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