Vietnam’s shrimp shipments to the US fell by 31% to around 18,300 tons in the first seven months of this year, however still ranked fifth among the world’s largest exporters to the country, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) on September 13.

Earnings from the shrimp shipments also fell 22.8% on -year to $202 million, Nguyen Huu Dzung, VASEP general secretary said.

Vietnam during the same period last year exported 26,500 tons of shrimp products to the US.

“The major reason for the plunge was attributed to the US anti-dumping lawsuit, which forced Vietnamese shrimpers to cut production following the losses caused by the lawsuit,” Nguyen Van Kich, Vietnam Shrimp Committee’s chairman added.

He also worried the downward trend would persist for the rest of the year. “Shrimp farming areas in the central and Mekong Delta regions have respectively shrunk by 50% and 30% after shrimp prices fell,” he said.

“Vietnam will try to step up exports to other promising markets such as Japan to buffer their reduced share in the US market,” Kich said.

The US Department of Commerce (DoC)‘s Task Force on September 9 completed its inspection of four Vietnamese shrimp exporters in the Mekong Delta in its anti-dumping case.

The four Vietnamese respondents in the case including Cafatex, Seaprodex Minh Hai, Minh Phu and Camimex, provided detailed and appropriate answers to all questions asked by the DoC and the DoC task force seemed to be very satisfied.

However, another Vietnamese respondent, the Kim Anh Company, refused to cooperate with the inspection as a result of improper preparation. Kim Anh struggled to prepare documents in time for the inspection because the company was busy shipping its huge production volume and diversified products to various markets.

“It was a pity as the DoC may gather documents and evidence via its own sources which may be unfavorable to Vietnamese firms to determine anti-dumping duties on those companies which did not cooperate with the inspection,” VASEP said. Kim Anh Co will have a meeting with VASEP later about its rejection.

The Vietnam Shrimp Committee (VSC) is hoping the DoC will lower its anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnam’s shrimp exporters as a result of its recent inspection, which will be announced on November 29 this year.

The case will then be referred to the US International Trade Commission (ITC), which will decide whether Vietnamese shrimp was sold at dumping prices in the American market on January 5, 2005. (Vietnam News Brief Service)