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Despite plenty of local commodities experiencing a downward export trend, including such items as tra fish, tuna, Vietnam’s shrimp exports throughout the first quarter displayed positive signs amid complicated developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At present, the United States is the second largest importer of Vietnamese shrimp, making up 18.4% of the country's total shrimp export value.

During the opening three months of the year, shrimp exports to the US market enjoyed a surge of 18.2% to USD115.5 million in comparison to last year’s corresponding period.

Despite the COVID-19 epidemic resulting in stagnant import-export activities to the US market along with a decline in import demand, retail stores are still buying regular goods in order to combat shortages after American consumers scrambled to purchase higher levels of stock since the start of the epidemic.

As shrimp supply sources from key players such as India, Ecuador, and Thailand begin to drop as a result of various national lockdowns, several US consumers have made moves to purchase Vietnamese shrimp.

Amid the domestic market, after suffering an initial fall, the price of raw shrimp in the Mekong Delta has gradually been increasing since the beginning of April. This development is expected to bring about an array of bright prospects for shrimp production ahead in the new season.

While the price of raw shrimp has increased, farmers remain hesitant to move into shrimp farming because of the risks relating to the effects of drought, saltwater intrusion, disease outbreaks on shrimp, as well as the complicated nature of the COVID-19 severely affecting major consumer markets.

According to the VASEP, there are positive signs ahead for the export of brackish shrimp over the course of the year thanks to high demands for shrimp globally, in addition to the epidemic being brought under control in both China and the Republic of Korea.

Moreover, Vietnamese shrimp is poised to enjoy benefits relating to a substantial reduction in tax rates from the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which is expected to come into effect in July, in comparison to shrimp products from India, Thailand, and other countries.

In contrast, there is still plenty of risks, requiring processing enterprises and shrimp farmers needing to work closely seize opportunities when the market begins to bounce back./.