Australian ban on Vietnamese shrimp could drown exporters - trade official - VnExpress International

Australian ban on Vietnamese shrimp could drown exporters - trade official

By VnExpress   March 16, 2017 | 12:00 am GMT+7
Australian ban on Vietnamese shrimp could drown exporters - trade official
Employees work at a local seafood factory in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang. Photo by Reuters

Hanoi has called on the Australian government to reconsider the ban.

Vietnamese shrimp exporters are facing losses and could go bankrupt following Australia's ban on imports of the crustacean, aimed at preventing white spot syndrome, a Vietnamese government official was quoted as saying.

Australia, which imports 30 percent of its shrimp from Vietnam, put the six-month ban in place in January this year.

"The order to suspend imports of uncooked shrimp without giving sufficient warning to Vietnamese shrimp export firms is not really in line with common practices," Deputy Trade Minister Tran Quoc Khanh was quoted on Wednesday by VietnamPlus as saying.

While Australia's investigation is underway, Vietnamese shrimp exports should be allowed unless there is evidence they are the source of the syndrome, Khanh said.

Vietnam currently has eight shrimp exporters dealing with the Australian market, which imported $41 million worth of shrimp from Vietnam in 2015.

This value may be small in a developed country, but to a developing nation like Vietnam, the sum is huge, the deputy minister said. "Some businesses that specialized in exporting shrimp to the Australian market are facing bankruptcy," he said.

Khanh has called on the Australian government to reconsider the ban. 

Apart from Australia, key export markets such as the E.U., Japan and South Korea have also erected trade and technical barriers to prevent diseases from spreading or to improve quality, industry officials said.

Vietnam's shrimp industry is struggling with tight domestic supplies and barriers in key import markets while striving to reach the $3.4 billion its export target this year, the Vietnam News Agency said. Last year, exports brought in $3.15 billion, up 6.7 percent from 2015.

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> Japan tightens inspections on shrimp shipments from Vietnam