(seafood.vasep.com.vn) As of the first half of August 2019, Pangasius exports to the US market reached US$175.9 million, down 38.7% compared to the same period in 2018. Thus, for nearly 7 consecutive months, pangasius exports to the US market have continued to decline sharply.
According to US Department of Commerce statistics, in the first 5 months of 2019, US catfish imports decreased in all suppliers (Vietnam, China, Thailand and Guyana). However, this country imported more pangasius from 2 new suppliers (Spain and Taiwan) compared to the previous quarter. In particular, Vietnam still accounted for 91.6 - 96% of total US imports of pangasius.
According to the International Trade Center (ITC), the US imported frozen tilapia fillets worth US $ 417 million from China in 2018. The second largest supplier was Indonesia, having the import value of around US $ US$41 million. However, since May 10, 2019, when the US officially raised the tax rate on imported seafood products from China from 10% to 25%, the shock of Chinese tilapia exports has slowed down the speed of China.
Tilapia is also the largest competitive product with Vietnam pangasius in the US market. According to statistics of the US Department of Commerce, by the end of June 2019, imports of frozen tilapia (Oreochromis Spp) from China fell by 13% in volume and 16% in value over the same period in 2018; Import of frozen NSPF tilapia from China also dropped by 28% in volume and 27% in value over the same period in 2018.
Businesses hope that the decrease in Chinese tilapia market share in the US shall create opportunities for Vietnam pangasius in this market. Having said that, in QII/2019, the export value of Vietnamese pangasius to the US dropped sharply by nearly 42% over the same period in 2018.
Moreover, according to ITC statistics, in the first 5 months of 2019, the US reduced imports of white meat, which not only Chinese tilapia but also pangasius products from Vietnam. In contrast, this country rose imports of white fish from Norway; Iceland; Canada, Chile, even climbed imports from Russia.
In QII/2019, Vietnamese enterprises exported mainly frozen pangasius fillets and frozen pangasius well trimmed to the US with prices ranging from US$1.01 - US$5.54/kg.
With the current export situation, it is predicted that in the last two quarters, pangasius export to the US market will be likely continue to decline.