(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Pangasius exports to Middle East market in the first 6 months of 2019 reached US$70.8 million, down 8.6% over the same period in 2018.
In 2018, Vietnamese pangasius enterprises increased exports to the two largest importers which were UAE and Egypt to maintain growth in the Middle East region. In the first half of 2019, export value to those markets showed signs of decline and leveled off. In particular, the UAE continued to be the largest importer of pangasius from Vietnam, however, the value of Vietnam pangasius exports to this market declined by 27.9% compared to the same period in 2018. The Egyptian market was still the second largest importer, yet the export value only reached US$18 million in the first 6 months of 2019, up slightly by 4.63% year on year. Export value to most of the other markets all went down. Exports to Iran, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon slip by 57.7%; 10.5%; 10% and 10.9% respectively, compared to the first 6 months of 2018.
Reducing imports in some markets, yet pangasius exporters still strive to boost pangasius export to some other potential markets, notably Bahrain and Qatar. In the first half of 2019, pangasius export value to these two markets rose substantially, Brahrain rose by 209.8% to US$14.9 million and Qatar climbed by 109.8% to US$2.26 million. In addition, exports to Kuwait market also increased by 13.3%.
In the top 10 largest pangasius importers of Vietnam, ASEAN and Middle East are considered to be important and noteworthy for Vietnam pangasius exporters. But until now, the Saudi Arabia market has not yet been reopened. Pangasius enterprises are still waiting for positive moves from Saudi Arabia to resume export activities normally.
Currently, the UAE is a potential market of some Southeast Asian pangasius suppliers, including Indonesia. Indonesia has realized the export potential in the Middle East region and intends to compete with Vietnamese pangasius when launching the Indonesian pangasius brand in the UAE - the gateway market in this region.