Vietnam shrimp running outThis article was originally published in Foodnews
FEARS of a shrimp shortage by the end of this year are growing among Vietnam's export processors, writes Diane Farquhar. Many farmers harvested their shrimps early this year to take advantage of prices which are 50% higher than a year ago, says the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). In addition, shrimp farming areas have not expanded in line with the increasing demand from export processing plants in recent years. One enterprise in the Mekong Delta said that over the past 10 years, the export value of shrimp has doubled, but growth in the total shrimp farming area has slowed, and even declined due to disease and other losses. In the meantime, shrimp processors and exporters have been expanding their capacity. As a result, most export plants are operating at 50-60% of their capacity, VASEP says. Despite this, Vietnam's ministry of industry and trade says shrimp exports have increased 15.5% in volume in the first seven months of this year, to 110 300 tonnes and 20% in value to USD929.2 million, VNS reports.