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Pangasius exports are expected to experience growth after the second quarter of 2023.

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(vasep.com.vn) According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in the first quarter of 2023, the country’s pangasius exports generated $422 million, a 35% decrease compared to the same period last year. Global food inflation, coupled with high inventory levels, has negatively impacted the demand and import prices, affecting the export volume of Vietnamese pangasius in several major markets.

Cá tra nguyên con
Pangasius whole fish of BAOMI Hoan Cau

The two largest markets, China and the United States, both experienced declines in pangasius imports, with reductions of 22% and 64%, respectively. After a significant decline in January 2023, pangasius exports to China increased by 26% in February 2023, indicating some positive signals from the Chinese market.

Export to the European Union (EU) also showed positive signs due to a doubling of pangasius imports by Germany. However, the US market has not shown signs of recovery. Many other markets experienced significant declines ranging from 12% to 61%.

In the first quarter of 2023, pangasius exports to the EU reached $45 million, a 4% decrease compared to the same period last year ($46.7 million). Most markets within the EU witnessed increased imports of Vietnamese pangasius, with several markets recording double-digit growth rates, such as Romania (36%), Sweden (53%), Denmark (34%), and Bulgaria (49%). Some smaller markets in Europe experienced triple-digit growth rates, including Germany (100%), Lithuania (429%), and Finland (436%).

Outside the EU, pangasius exports to other markets in the first quarter of 2023 also showed positive growth. Exports to Singapore reached $8.7 million, a 35% increase compared to the same period last year, while exports to the UK reached $16.2 million, a 34% increase. Despite being a country with a high inflation rate among major economies, the UK remains one of the few markets that recorded positive growth in Vietnamese pangasius imports.

In the first quarter of 2023, most pangasius processing and exporting companies experienced negative growth compared to the same period last year. The top five largest pangasius export companies, including Vinh Hoan, NAVICO, I.D.I Corp, Van Duc Tien Giang, and GODACO, accounted for 34.9% of the export value and all saw a decline in sales ranging from 7% to 43%.

The seafood industry, particularly the pangasius sector, has faced challenges since the end of 2022 due to prolonged inflation and high retail inventory levels. In addition to market difficulties, pangasius processing and exporting companies are also facing challenges related to input materials, credit, and production. Input costs, from fingerlings to feed and other expenses, continue to rise, leading to a potential shortage of raw materials. Both farmers and export-oriented companies are facing capital shortages to sustain production and business operations.

The pangasius industry’s current situation requires collective support from the government, state agencies, as well as cooperation between farmers and businesses.

In the coming period, pangasius exports are mainly expected to rely on China, certain European countries such as the UK, Germany, Portugal, and Middle Eastern markets. Pangasius exports are expected to recover in the third quarter of 2023 through trade programs and commercial promotion efforts.

Theo Thu Hằng – VASEP

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