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Japan ranks third among importers of Vietnamese shrimp in January-February

Japan ranks third among importers of Vietnamese shrimp in January-February

Sunday, March 10, 2024, 12:04 GMT+7
Japan ranks third among importers of Vietnamese shrimp in January-February
Workers process shrimp for export at a seafood enterprise in Soc Trang, a province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. Photo: Chi Quoc / Tuoi Tre

Japan has emerged as Vietnam's third-largest shrimp importer in the last two months, rebounding from a decline in 2023.

The country now constitutes over 15 percent of Vietnam's total shrimp exports, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

In January, the value of shrimp exports to Japan reached more than US$37 million, posting a vigorous increase of 30 percent year on year.

Japan maintained its strong performance, becoming Vietnam's third-largest shrimp buyer in the first two months of this year, following the U.S. and China.

It accounted for 15.4 percent of Vietnam’s total shrimp exports during this period.

This growth trend will likely be continued in the coming time, VASEP predicted.

The upturn in shrimp exports from Vietnam to Japan contrasts with the 2023 recession, where Vietnamese exporters witnessed a 17-percent drop in volume and a 24-percent decline in the value of shrimp exports to Japan compared to 2022.

The decline occurred as consumer demand in Japan decreased, accompanied by rising inflation and a depreciating yen, impacting the purchasing decisions of Japanese importers.

However, the situation improved in the last month of 2023 before the shrimp exports to Japan recovered vigorously in January 2024.

The recovery was partly attributed to a number of importers that have turned to buying more shrimp from Vietnam than from India and Ecuador, a VASEP expert commented.

"Japanese consumers have high standards for the quality and taste of seafood, especially shrimp, necessitating thorough processing," the expert explained.

"Vietnam's improved processing capabilities have successfully met these stringent requirements. 

"Meanwhile, despite their cost advantage, shrimp from India and Ecuador undergo simpler processing compared to products from Vietnam."

In January, Sao Ta Foods Joint Stock Company, based in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, was the largest shrimp exporter to Japan, making up 13.8 percent of the total shrimp export value to Japan.

Sao Ta was followed by Minh Phu Seafood Joint Stock Corporation in Ca Mau, the southernmost Vietnamese province, and Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Joint Stock Company in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang, accounting for 9.2 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

Vietnam's popular shrimp products exported to Japan, including breaded shrimp, stretched shrimp, fried shrimp, and sushi shrimp, continue to uphold their strong competitive advantage in the Japanese market.

VASEP believes that Vietnam will log a rise of about 10-15 percent in shrimp shipments this year due to recovery in shrimp consumption in some markets.

The U.S. and China are expected to remain the two largest markets for Vietnamese shrimp exports this year, representing about 40-45 percent of the country’s shrimp export value.

Due to recent tensions in the Red Sea leading to increased transportation costs, several shrimp exporters have intensified their exports to neighboring markets such as China and Japan, VASEP said.

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Vinh Tho - Thao Thuong / Tuoi Tre News


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