Vietnam's pangasius exports rise on global demand

Vietnam's pangasius exports has been recovering since the rise of global demand and their successful control of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
June 08, 2021 | 12:37
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By the end of May 2021, pangasius exports reached over US$600 million, an increase of more than 10% compared to the same period in 2020, the VASEP reports.

All major pangasius consumers such as China. China, the United States, Brazil and Thailand increased their import from Vietnam, says the association.

The US has continuously increased its pangasius imports from Vietnam. Photo: VOV
The US has continuously increased its pangasius imports from Vietnam. Photo: VOV

Data from the VASEP show Vietnam’s pangasius exports to Brazil and Thailand rose 38.7% and 8.5% to US$27 million and US$26 million respectively over the same period last year.

Meanwhile, the US consumed more than US$35 million worth of pangasius imports from Vietnam in May alone, up 120% against May 2020. The world’s largest market increased the import of frozen pangasius fillets due to a sharp fall in the output of locally raised catfish.

The five-month export value of the pangasius to Hong Kong (China) also hit US$146 million, accounting for nearly one fourth of Vietnam’s total export value of the product, and making it the country’s largest pangasius consumer.

VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe forecast pangasius exports are expected to enjoy impressive growth in the coming months thanks to successful COVID-19 containment in foreign countries.

Vietnam's Pangasius exports increase by 0.6% in first quarter of 2021

Photo: VOV
Photo: VOV

Vietnam’s Tra fish (pangasius) exports during the first quarter of the year recorded an increase of 0.6% to $336 million compared to the same period from last year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

March alone witnessed local pangasius exports surge by 11% to $137 million against last year’s corresponding period following a decline experienced in February.

The demand for Vietnamese pangasius bounced back recently, causing the price of raw pangasius in the Mekong Delta region to rise considerably, according to VOV.

According to the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (Agrotrade), the current price of raw pangasius fish ranges between VND21,000 – 22,000 ($0.91- $ 0.96) per kg, an increase of about VND2,000 ($0.087) per kilo compared to the previous month.

Despite this rise, the demand for the product remains lower than in previous years due to the low purchasing power of China, the largest consumer of Vietnamese pangasius.

China has recently moved to tighten control over imported frozen seafood shipments, including pangasius fillets, which require a certificate of food testing, a certificate of quarantine, a certificate of disinfection, a certificate of origin traceability, along with a negative novel coronavirus (COVID-19) test, before entering the market.

Most notably, the demand for pangasius in the United States has been increasing as both retailers and foodservice operators are busily purchasing these products for the spring and the coming summer.

Vietnam’s seafood exports expected to hit $9.4 billion in 2021. Photo: VNA
Vietnam’s seafood exports expected to hit $9.4 billion in 2021. Photo: VNA

Vietnamese businesses are currently completing the signing of contracts, with the price of imported pangasius in the US market increasing by between 6% – 7% since the end of February.

The price of pangasius fillets in the US has increased from between $1.6 – $1.65 per pound to $1.7 – $1.75 per pound in late February, while the selling price of pangasius within the EU market remains stable.

Experts say there are bright prospects ahead for pangasius exports in the future following the imminent recovery of a number of major markets in the aftermath of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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