Vietnam’s shrimp export goal faces imminent failure as farmers close ponds

By Phan Anh   May 23, 2018 | 05:04 pm GMT+7
Vietnam’s shrimp export goal faces imminent failure as farmers close ponds
A shrimp farmer smiles as she shows shrimp she harvested from her pond in the My Xuyen district in southern Vietnam. Photo by AFP

They can no longer make a profit after shrimp prices plummet to a 10-year low.

Vietnam’s goal of exporting $10 billion worth of shrimp in 2025 is facing a grim future as farmers are closing ponds after consecutive losses, local newspaper Tuoi Tre reported on Tuesday.

Vo Thanh Sang, a shrimp farmer in the southern Soc Trang Province, said he has just sold his shrimp for VND70,000 ($3) per kilogram, while remarking that the price is at its lowest in 10 years.

“Each pond has about 4 to 5 tons of shrimp in it. So if I sell my shrimp at the current price, I would lose about VND40 to 50 million. I cannot afford that,” Sang said.

His ponds would be closed soon, he said.

Record low shrimp prices are the result of global shrimp oversupply, said Vo Van Phuc, director of a Vietnamese food company. 

And despite the low prices, Vietnamese factories are not buying shrimp because of low demand globally.

“Even though shrimp prices are already low, foreign markets like the U.S. are expecting the prices to drop even further,” Phuc said.

Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said foreign markets still have a lot of imported shrimp in stock so they won’t be buying a lot of shrimp at the moment, which should explain the lack of appetite for Vietnamese shrimp.

Vietnam is world’s third-largest shrimp supplier and is the biggest exporter of the product in Japan, according to the agriculture ministry.

Last year, Vietnam’s shrimp export turnover reached $3.85 billion, an increase of 22 percent compared to 2016.

 
 
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