In May 2015, the UK surpassed Germany to become Vietnam's largest shrimp importing market in the EU
The largest shrimp supplier to the UK
Friday, May 24, 2019, 11:10 (GMT + 9)
Vietnam shrimp exports to the UK have always achieved positive growth rates since 2012 as the UK has promoted importing warmwater shrimp as an affordable product that can replace coldwater shrimp. The price of coldwater shrimp is increasing due to the fact that the main supplying countries continuously cut their quotas which resulting in a drop in production. Sales of warmwater shrimp in British supermarkets and retail channels continued to increase while sales of coldwater shrimp decreased.
UK was the third largest importer of shrimp in the EU after Spain and France. Unlike Spain that importing shrimps for domestic consumption and processing for export to intra-regional countries, UK imported shrimp for domestic consumption only.
Harvesting shrimp in a growing center (Photo: Stockfile)
In the last 4 years, UK was a remarkable market for many Vietnamese enterprises. From 2014 up to now, the UK has always been in the 1st and 2nd position for importing Vietnamese shrimp. From 2014 to 2017, Vietnam shrimp exports to the UK continued to grow from US$114.6 million in 2014 to US$210.6 million in 2017, an increase of nearly 84%.
In the EU, the UK was the largest shrimp importer of Vietnam, accounting for nearly 36% of total shrimp exports of Vietnam to EU and accounting for 6.8% of total Vietnam shrimp exports to all markets. In the fourth quarter of 2018, shrimp export to the UK dropped by 14% to US$62.6 million due to the impact of Brexit event in the UK. This event partly disturbs the situation of import and export of goods and demand for seafood consumption in the UK. However, in 2018, Vietnam shrimp exports to the UK still increased positively to US$238.4 million.
Vietnam has many opportunities to increase white-leg shrimp exports to the EU - Source: vasep.com.vn
In January 2019, Vietnam shrimp export to the UK reached over US$16 million, down 4.1% compared to the same period in 2018.
In 2018, British shrimp imports reached US$827.2 million, a decrease of 0.1% compared to 2017. Vietnam was the largest shrimp supplier to the UK, accounting for 26.4% of the total value of British shrimp imports, followed by India at 15.1%. Among the main shrimp suppliers to this market, shrimp imports from Vietnam, Denmark and Iceland went up while imports from India, Canada and Bangladesh fell compared to 2017.
Manual processing line to peel shrimp (Photo: Stockfile)
It can be said that UK was a remarkable market of Vietnamese shrimp exporters in the EU because exporting enterprises to this market are entitled to GSP tax incentives, similar to the general provisions in exporting to the EU. Processed shrimp products originating from Vietnam in the UK market have a higher advantage in price and quality compared to those of India and Bangladesh. Fresh and frozen white leg shrimp size 13/15, 16/20 exports from Vietnam to the UK cost from US$6.67 to US$8.73 /kg.
Because the UK is a highly competitive market from rival suppliers, enterprises need to understand the market to make products suitable to consumers' tastes here. In order to succeed in the UK market, enterprises need to provide products with good prices with consistent supplies and the ability to improve product development to keep up the tastes of people.