Vietnam pangasius exports recover

( Statistics from the customs show that in January 2021, pangasius exports reached nearly 123.6 million USD, up by 21.7% compared to January 2020. Notably, frozen pangasius fillet products reached 115.8 million USD, increasing by 53.5% over the same period last year, staying at the top of 40 seafood export products of Vietnam in January. This is a sign of prosperity at the beginning of 2021 for pangasius after a "declining" year of 2020: only reaching 1.49 billion USD, down by 25.5% compared to 2019.

Vietnam pangasius exports recover

Vietnam pangasius fillets marinated with pepper and spices 

Export is still need improvement

Before that, at the end of 2020, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) forecasts that the growth of the pangasius industry this year will be 5% with the export value at 1.6 billion USD. To achieve this goal, there are 4 issues that the pangasius industry needs to solve, including efforts to remove difficulties with the Chinese market, anti-dumping tax in the US market, increasing production of value added products and developing the domestic market to reduce dependence on exports.

According to pangasius production, processing and trading enterprises, in 2020, the Covid-19 epidemic severely affected exports, raw pangasius’ price in the Mekong Delta dropped from 26,500 VND/kg in March 2019 to 18,500 - 18,800 VND/kg in June 2020, by the end of 2020 it gradually inched up to 21,000 - 21,500 VND/kg and has been stablizing until now.

Mr. Truong Tien Dung, General Director of Saigon Aquatic Products Trading Joint Stock Company (APT), said "In 2020, exports declined dramatically, especially at the end of the year, export to China was congested. This year, exports to China have resumed normal, orders from the US and European markets have also increased".

According to Mr. Nguyen Van Kich, Chairman and General Director of Cafatex Corporation (Hau Giang), the situation of the pangasius industry this year is very unpredictable due to uncertain factors. Firstly, the Covid-19 epidemic in import markets remains complicated, and exports depend on pandemic control. Secondly, China, the leading market for pangasius imports, is not stable in terms of demand, and recently there is the problem in controlling Covid-19 epidemic for imported frozen goods.

Strive to conquer domestic customers

There was a large amount of export output that brought in billions of dollars in recent years, but in the domestic market, consumption of pangasius is still modest. In recent years, in order to pave the way for pangasius to return to the "home yard", businesses have organized many programs and activities to introduce processed pangasius products to consumers, typically pangasius buffet program. Along with that, businesses are diligent in researching and developing many preliminary processed and refined products from this nutritious and healthy fish.

"Products from pangasius are quite diversified, in addition to fillets, sliced, cleaned whole fish, fish can also be dried and refined ... serving both domestic and export markets. Dried pangasius products and dried basa fish have been positively received by the domestic market, especially during the flood and storm months in the Central region and after Lunar New Year "- APT General Director stated and added that dried basa fish and some products as well as the company's dried freshwater fish are produced under a closed process in a modern factory and exported to Europe, being vacuum preserved and branded as the company, so they are consumed well.

Mr. Pham Duc Cuong, co-founder of Uni-Sea Co., Ltd. (Hanoi) - specializing in basa fillets marinated with pepper sauce, said that after 10 years of researching on how to deodorize fish, he decided to choose basa fish for commercialization. "Basa fish has an export background, so the quality management process is very good, meeting the requirements of the most demanding markets in the world but the price is moderate, so there is a large ability to increase the value.”

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