Shrimp exports to China may slightly recover earlier this year

Shrimp exports to China saw a significant decrease in 2023, but may slightly recover earlier this year.

According to VASEP, in 2023, shrimp exports to China-Hong Kong reached USD 607 million, down 8% from 2022. However, the decline in shrimp exports to China is much lower than to other major markets. Specifically, in 2023, shrimp exports to the US decreased by 15%, to Japan by 24%, and to the EU by 39%.

Actually, China’s shrimp imports have not decreased but continued to increase in 2023. That was attributed to the demand recovery after the Chinese government lifted the Zero Covid policy. China is now considered the world’s largest shrimp importer. In the first 11 months of 2023, 917 thousand tons of shrimp were imported into China.

Despite such a large volume, shrimp prices continued to rise sharply in China in late 2023. This indicates that shrimp consumption in China was still significant.

Compared to other supply sources such as Ecuador and India, Vietnamese shrimp faces price disadvantages in the Chinese market due to significantly higher production costs. However, Vietnam benefits some logistical advantages, especially when tensions in the Red Sea are driving up sea freight costs, which may negatively impact Ecuador’s shrimp exports to China.

On the other hand, tensions in the Red Sea will also affect Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the US and the EU to some extent. In addition, the American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) filing a petition for countervailing duties investigation against imported shrimp, including from Vietnam, will affect shrimp exports to the US in the first half of this year.

In response to this situation, many shrimp industry enterprises, including those who haven’t considered China a major importer, are increasingly focusing more on this market. For example, in its market strategy for 2024 and the following years, a leading Vietnamese shrimp exporter, Fimex VN, plans to continue enhancing market development in Japan, maintaining existing markets, and gradually penetrating the Chinese market.


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