In 2017, in face of many difficulties and barriers, the pangasius export sector still went up compared to 2016. In 2018, the exporting markets have sent positive signal to the sector.
According to VASEP, in 2017, the pangasius exports hit USD1.78bn, up 3.9% y-o-y. This growth rate stood far behind that of shrimp (21.5%), tuna (16.4%), cephalopods (41.6%), other fish (16.7%).., but it was meaningful in consideration of the strong decline in 2 major traditional markets which are EU (down by 23%) and the US (down nearly 11%). On one hand, the exports to EU plummeted merely by fake news, the exports to the US, on the other, faced many barriers caused by anti-dumping duty and the Siluriformes fish inspection programme.
On the contrary, Chinese market has saw significant growth (up by 35%, at USD305m), together with other markets such as Brazil, Mexico,.., contributing to the positive growth of the whole sector in 2017. With this impressive growth, China has become the top exporting market of Vietnam’s pangasius (accounting for 23% of total exports).
Notably, according to VASEP, China is expected to remain its leading position in 2018. Opinions of executives from some pangasius exporters were that demand for pangasius from Chinese market is on the rise and unit price also follows the upward trend.
Moreover, the demand for premium quality pangasius products in China is also increasing. Therefore, even some major exporters who previously only focused on exporting to the US, EU for higher profit, in 2017, has paid more attention to this market and incresead their shipment accordingly.
According to Mdm. Khanh , Chairwoman of Vinh Hoan Corporation, Chinese market has huge potentials in the years to come, especially from the restaurants, convenient stores,..However, this market really cares about product quality and the control thereof across the supply chain. If we are good at quality control, then exports to China will probably grow at double-digit rate in many years ahead.
With regards to general pangasius exports in 2018, Mdm. Khanh said average price in 2018 will be higher than that in 2017 caused by the decline in cultured volume which resulted from the shortage in fingerlings supply. Hence, the raw materials supply in 2018 will drop versus 2017 and hovers arround 1 billion tons. Meanwhile, the global demand for pangasius is forecast to increase. At the present, the supply cannot meet the demand, causing rise in selling price which exceeded USD3/kg and this new price line has been generally accepted by buyers. It is estimated that the exports value in 2018 will be equal or higher than that of 2017.