Pangasius export market gradually prospered

Since the end of 2020, the Covid-19 epidemic situation has had a positive change due to the government’s epidemic strict control in the country and the beginning of vaccination against the Covid-19 deployed around the world. The domestic output and export turnover of aquatic products are gradually recovering and on the development momentum, pangasius export after a continuous decline in 2020, from the beginning of 2021, there have been many positive signals from the market.

Pangasius industry growth began to decline from March 2019 to the time at the end of 2020 after two consecutive years of high growth. Pangasius product lines are typically food-service (Foodservice industry defines those businesses, institutions, and companies responsible for any meal prepared outside the home. This industry includes restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, catering operations, and many other formats. Food used in trading and food processing for schools, hospitals, companies … and serving distributors/markets, business in food services), so when the world applies the measure of social isolation to prevent the Covid-19 epidemic, our country’s pangasius export turnover plummeted. Besides, saline intrusion from the beginning of the year to the end of May 2020 has reduced production efficiency due to the high rate of loss from seeding to commercial production. Pangasius production in 2020 was estimated at more than 1.5 million tons (down 0.3% over the same period last year).

When the Covid-19 situation controlled from the end of 2020, the recovery of import markets along with the efforts of businesses and farmers in raising fish contributed to increasing pangasius output and export turnover: The output of harvested pangasius in the first quarter of 2021 was estimated at 321.8 thousand tons, up 0.8% over the same period last year, accounting for nearly 47% of farmed fish production and 34.2% of total farming production. In the Quarter, the provinces with large pangasius production in our country such as An Giang reached 105.0 thousand tons, up 2.9% over the same period last year; Can Tho reached 33.2 thousand tons, up 0.3%. The area of ​​intensive and semi-intensive pangasius farming in the first quarter was estimated at 3.18 thousand hectares, up 2.0% over the same period of 2020. The price of raw pangasius from 850 grams to 1.1 kg/pangasius in the Mekong River Delta was stable from the beginning of the year to mid-February, fluctuating at 19,000-20,000 VND/kg. Last week of February until now, the pangasius price has tended to increase, currently fluctuating at 21,000-22,000 VND/kg[1]. According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), pangasius exports in the first 2 months of the year reached 214 million USD, up 1.7% over the same period last year. Specifically, in January 2021, the export of frozen pangasius fish fillets increased by 54%, the whole pangasius increased by 162%. Vietnam pangasius exports recovered strongly in markets: the United States up 51%, Mexico 73%, Australia 45%, Canada 42% respectively; Other markets such as Brazil, Colombia, UK, Russia all increased from 37-129%.

Due to pangasius material demand has been increased and “lever” is free trade agreements, the pangasius industry is expected to continue to grow in the second quarter of 2021. Since mid-March of 2021, the Chinese market tends to improve. Earlier, this market tightened inspection and control of coronavirus for the imported seafood, which made Vietnam’s exporting pangasius more difficult. Pangasius exports to China in April and the coming months this year will recover stronger, as China gradually resolves trade congestion at seaports and loosens procedures to control Covid-19 for the imported seafood, especially frozen seafood. The US market will still be a market that has a great influence on pangasius export results, maintaining positive growth for the year. Pangasius exports began to expand to the EU market from the signing of the Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which took effect from August 1st, 2020, under which the EU will eliminate tariffs on 86.5% of Vietnam’s seafood export turnover in three years; 90.3% within five years and 100% within seven years. Expanding export markets to the EU is an opportunity accompanied by a challenge, because standards on export products of the EU market are very high, forcing domestic seafood exporters to invest in standardization of the process from the production, processing, preservation, and transportation stages so that the best quality products can reach the final consumers. The main goal is to maintain the export market in the long term, not only stop after finding export markets.

On March 11, 2021, the Prime Minister approved the Vietnam Fisheries Development Strategy to 2030, a vision to 2045. Objectives to 2030, develop the fisheries sector into an important economic sector of major commodity production is associated with industrialization – modernization, sustainable development, proactively adapting to climate change and by 2045, making the fisheries sector become a group of three producing and exporting countries leading seafood in the world. Accompanying it is clear policies, guidelines, and guidelines, step by step leading the fisheries industry in general, pangasius in particular, creating a strong development momentum in the coming time.

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