Thai traders are complaining that Vietnam is buying up low-priced shrimp from Thailand for re-export.
Bunjonk Nissapawanich, president of the Thai Eastern Shrimp Association, said the continuous decline in shrimp prices has hurt Thai farmers while benefiting Vietnamese shrimp exports.
Thai Frozen Foods Association statistics show 2,860 tonnes of shrimp from Thailand _ fresh, chilled, frozen and prepared items _ were exported to Vietnam in the first four months of 2012, up by 302 percent year-on-year.
They were valued at 681 million baht, up by 372 percent.
Bunjonk attributed the growth to low shrimp prices, which have been falling continuously from 166 baht or 50 heads a kilogramme early this year to an average of 133 baht in April and 122 baht this month, year-on-year drops of 19 percent and 26 percent, respectively.
Shrimp is an export-oriented industry, as 90 percent of the 600,000 tonnes produced annually are shipped abroad.
The US, the biggest market for Thai shrimp, imported 29,426 tonnes from Thailand in the first four months, down by 31 percent year-on-year, worth 8.5 billion baht, down by 27 percent.
Shipments to Europe totalled 14,191 tonnes, down by 12.3 percent year-on-year, worth 4 billion baht, down by 0.87 percent.
He did not provide figures, but the Vietnam Daily Magazine reported Vietnamese shrimp exports to Japan, the country’s main market, increased by 12 percent year-on-year in January and February.
Vietnamese shrimp exporters garnered $600 million from the Japanese market last year, 25.3 percent of their export revenue.