ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Japan laps up Vietnamese goods
Vietnam's export turnover to Japan increased to US$13.65 billion in 2013, a spike of 4.5 per cent over the previous year, according to the General Department of Customs.
Garments topped the list of export staples, earning $2.38 billion, accounting for 20 per cent of the country's total. Japan currently consumes more than 13 per cent of Viet Nam's garment exports.
Crude oil and means of transport and tools followed with earnings of $2.08 billion and $1.85 billion, respectively.
Despite an export value of $248.2 million, chemicals achieved the highest growth of 56.2 per cent.
Other products with high growth included wood and timber products ($819.9 million, up 22.5 per cent); footwear ($389.3 million, up 18.6 per cent); and bags, wallets, suitcases, hats, and umbrellas ($235.3 million, up 33.1 per cent).
Japan has agreed to increase the maximum residue limit (MRL) of Ethoxyquin, an antioxidant preservative used in fish meal, in Vietnamese shrimp – a move that will benefit shrimp businesses, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.
The association said that the Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on Tuesday decided to raise Ethoxyquin MRL by 20 fold from 0.01 ppm (parts per million) to 0.2 ppm and will remove regulations on inspections for 100 per cent of shrimp shipments imported from Viet Nam.
This shows the efforts made by Vietnamese management agencies and businesses in controlling Ethoxyquin residue in farmed shrimp, the association said.
Japan introduced Ethoxyquin regulations in 2012, putting Vietnamese shrimp exports at a disadvantage. The shipment to Japan in 2012 was only $617.7 million.
The association expects that Viet Nam's shrimp exports to Japan will increase significantly this year both in volume and value, thanks to the new regulations, a decreasing supply, and increasing global prices.
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