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Vietnam’s Shrimp Exports to Australia: Opportunities and Challenges

Vietnam has emerged as a major player in the global shrimp market and has witnessed an uptick in shrimp exports to Australia. In this article, we will explore the recent growth in Vietnamese shrimp exports to Australia, the key products exported, and the challenges and opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises.

Positive growth in shrimp exports to Australia

Australia is the seventh-largest shrimp importer of Vietnamese shrimp, accounting for 3.8% of Vietnam’s total shrimp export value to markets. While Vietnamese shrimp exports to Australia fell by 4.4% in 2018, 2019 saw positive growth, with exports recovering after a dip in the first three months of the year. As of December 15, 2019, Vietnamese shrimp exports to Australia reached nearly $121 million, up 12.6% over the same period in 2018. From April 2019 to the end of the year, Vietnamese shrimp exports to this market continued to grow, with the largest increases of 56% in July and 45% in November 2019. Among the top 10 shrimp importers of Vietnam, Australia had the highest growth rate.

Top products exported to Australia

Vietnam mainly exports PD fresh/frozen whiteleg shrimp, frozen whiteleg shrimp (head off, tail on), whiteleg shrimp (head off, peeled), frozen whole whiteleg shrimp, breaded tempura whiteleg shrimp, among other products to Australia. Despite declining shrimp imports to major markets, shrimp imports to Australia from Vietnam achieved double-digit growth, whereas imports from other suppliers decreased by two digits. In the first 10 months of 2019, shrimp imports of Australia reached $237.4 million, down 16.6% compared to the same period in 2018. Vietnam has maintained its position as the largest shrimp supplier to Australia, accounting for 42% of the country’s total shrimp imports, followed by China with 23% and Thailand with 22%.

Opportunities and challenges for Vietnamese enterprises

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) came into effect in early 2019, with Australia as a member country. As committed in CPTPP, all shrimp products exported to Australia will enjoy a 0% tariff rate after the agreement comes into effect. Among seafood products imported from Vietnam, shrimp was the most consumed product in Australia, with an annual consumption of 50-60 thousand MT. For Vietnamese enterprises, this presents an opportunity to boost exports to Australia.

However, exporting to Australia has its challenges. The Australian government is advocating for expanding markets to India and ASEAN countries to avoid being affected by the US-China trade war. In addition, Australian consumers have high standards, which are supported by a series of consumer protections in every state in the country. Vietnamese enterprises should focus on boosting trade promotion, building a value chain for shrimp products, and providing new products with high added value, quality, guaranteed origin, and clear labels when exporting to this market.


Vietnam’s shrimp exports to Australia have been on the rise, and Vietnamese enterprises should focus on building a strong value chain, developing new products, and ensuring compliance with Australian biosafety and food safety regulations. The CPTPP provides an opportunity for Vietnamese enterprises to boost exports to Australia, but they need to overcome the challenges of competition from other countries and meeting high Australian standards. The Vietnamese shrimp industry can benefit greatly from the growing demand for high-quality seafood products in the Australian market.


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