Exports decline but shrimp prices stay high

Shrimp exports started to slow down from quarter IV of 2022 and January 2023, leaving the country’s shrimp export value of just more than USD 169 million, down 46% from the same period last year. However, prices of shrimp of all sizes stay high.

According to VASEP, in January 2023, exports of aquatic products and shrimp continued to sharply decline like they did in the last quarter of 2022 due to poor consumption and year-end festivals (New Year and Lunar Tet holiday).

A considerable decline was recorded in such major markets as the US, EU, China and Japan, leaving an estimated shrimp export value of USD 169.134 million in January 2023, down 46% from the same period last year. As it is estimated that the world economy will fall into recession this year, seafood or shrimp exports may not grow in the first months of the year.

Despite difficulties in exportation since quarter I of 2022, the domestic prices of shrimps of all sizes have remained high since late 2022. According to shrimp businesses, that was attributed to the prolonged disease outbreak in 2022 crops and the fact that companies announced to raise the price of post larvae and feed from Jan 05, resulting in a delay of stocking in all farming areas. This is the low season of shrimp materials while some factories are in need of shrimp for their operation, some are filling their last year orders, and consumers are in a high demand for this species. Thus, shrimp are sold at prices on which farmers can enjoy real benefits.

Most of the big shrimp importers of Vietnamese shrimps are struggling with inventories, meanwhile the harvest season is approaching in Ecuador, a shrimp powerhouse. This poses a hard pressure on Vietnamese shrimp traders. A leader of a shrimp business shared: “In a newly negotiated sales contract of shrimp for quarter III/2023, the price of 40 count shrimp is around 100,000 dong, meanwhile the company has to buy shrimp materials at 150,000 dong”. With such difficulties, he anticipated: “Some factories have to give up”.

Even though the world economy is forecasted to fall into recession this year, according to VASEP, seafood is still the daily necessity and the demand for seafood will not fall rapidly; however the demand and price will be adjusted upon product types.


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