[Industry news] Exports to Asian markets expected to be 1.5 times higher than the U.S in 2017

February 18, 2017

[Translated from the article on Vietnam News Agency, we are not in anyway responsible for the content of this post]

Can Tho – The Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Can Tho City (VCCI Can Tho) has predicted the demand for tra fish, or pangasius, would rise 20% in traditional and potential markets this year, the Vietnam News Agency reports.
Notably, pangasius products bound for Asian markets, especially China, are expected to be 1.5 times higher than the U.S.
The Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries has proposed the production plan for 2017, including the pangasius farming area of 5,000-5,500 hectares, output of more than 1.15 million tons, and export turnover of more than US$1.7 billion.
Nguyen Phuong Lam, deputy director of VCCI Can Tho, said the pangasius farming acreage has decreased lately, but productivity has increased and thus higher prices of material fish.
In 2016, the area under tra fish farming in the Mekong Delta shrank by 11% against 2015 to some 3,070 hectares, but output reached 1.08 million tons, up 5%, and productivity averaged out at 313 tons a hectare, up 10%.
In addition, the raw fish price has increased. In January of 2017, the raw fish price leapt to VND28,000 (US$1.23) a kilo compared to VND18,000-19,000 a kilo in the year-ago period.
Vo Thi Thu Huong, deputy secretary general of the Vietnam Pangasius Association (VN Pangasius), said the demand for oversized pangasius had edged up, especially of China.
In 2016, pangasius export turnover totaled US$1.7 billion, up 9.6% against 2015, with the U.S. and China being the biggest importers.
There are currently about 200 enterprises in Vietnam processing and exporting tra fish to 138 markets. The top three enterprises are Vinh Hoan, Bien Dong and Nam Song Hau.
Export markets of Vietnam's pangasius in 2016 - Thị trường nhập khẩu cá tra Việt Nam năm 2016

Export markets of Vietnam’s pangasius in 2016 (Source: VASEP).

VCCI Can Tho will take a new approach in trade and investment promotions by organizing smaller events tailored to the need of enterprises rather than staging large-scale programs, said Nguyen Phuong Lam, deputy director of VCCI Can Tho.
Formerly, the Mekong Delta was little known to potential investors, so big promotion events were organized to capture their attention. However, the region has become known to many enterprises now, so VCCI Can Tho will focus on medium and small investment promotions, Lam added.
To attract investors from Japan and South Korea, for example, VCCI Can Tho will run small conferences for just about 10 enterprises. Lam thought that it will be more effective if the organizer attends specifically to the enterprises’ demand.