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Vietnam pangasius exports – Optimistic signals from the US and CHINA markets

Cho Cá ăn (1)

Although by the end of 2022, the export of pangasius from Vietnam reached its lowest point of the year at 475 million USD, a decrease of 12% compared to the same period in 2021 due to the impact of inflation, resulting in reduced orders from various markets, pangasius still has more optimistic prospects in 2023 compared to other industries, thanks to positive signals from two major markets, China and the United States.

cho ca an 1
The export of pangasius has shown optimistic signals from the US and China markets. (Source: Fish pond of BAOMI Hoan Cau)

At the beginning of the new year, the deployment of seafood companies, including pangasius enterprises, shows optimistic signals of recovering orders from the markets. On the first working day after the Tet holiday, workers at Hung Ca Co., Ltd. are busy preparing for the export of 21 containers of fillet pangasius. At Vinh Hoan Corporation, nearly 10,000 employees and workers have also returned to the company to prepare for new orders.

Although by the end of 2022, the export of pangasius from Vietnam reached its lowest point of the year at 475 million USD, a decrease of 12% compared to the same period in 2021 due to the impact of inflation, resulting in reduced orders from various markets, pangasius still has more optimistic prospects in 2023 compared to other industries, thanks to positive signals from two major markets, China and the United States.

China’s full reopening has opened up many agricultural export commodities from Vietnam, including pangasius. With 712 million USD in 2022, pangasius accounted for 40% of Vietnam’s seafood exports to China, making it the largest commodity. Chinese consumers tend to prefer pangasius over tilapia. Seafood import and export has become easier. The cost of shipping has also decreased below pre-pandemic levels, creating even more favorable conditions for trade.

Although the lifting of COVID restrictions by China may not bring a strong recovery for seafood orders in the first month of the year, as the virus is still a concern for many people and the restaurant segment cannot fully reopen yet, this market will adapt and experience a strong surge in demand in the coming months.

As for the U.S. market, the supply and demand dynamics for white fish meat are favorable for pangasius. Experts and traders in the U.S. market are optimistic about the demand for pangasius and tilapia in 2023. Both species have suitable prices and stable supply. Meanwhile, the ban on imports from Russia continues to reduce the supply of cod, a white fish species popular in the U.S. Especially during the Lent season (from late February to mid-April), demand will increase and the shortage will need to be compensated for by other species such as pangasius, tilapia, and pangasius.

This year, the U.S. increased the import quota for pangasius by 16% to nearly 1.5 million tons, but it cannot immediately meet the current demand. As for tilapia, the trade war and the COVID pandemic still somewhat restrict China’s exports to the U.S., so pangasius continues to see opportunities in this market. In the first 11 months of 2022, the U.S. imported 120,000 tons of fillet pangasius, while the import of fillet tilapia reached 96,000 tons, marking the first time that pangasius exports to the U.S. exceeded tilapia.

The 120,000 tons of fillet pangasius imported into the U.S. is also the second-highest record since 2007, second only to the record of over 130,000 tons in 2016.

In 2022, the export of pangasius from Vietnam to the U.S. reached 537 million USD, a 45% increase compared to 2021, maintaining positive growth ranging from 23% to 123% in the first three quarters of the year. However, increased inventory levels led to reduced demand in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 32% decrease in the final quarter.

The U.S. economy is showing signs of slight recovery, with reduced inventory levels and supply-demand factors that may stimulate increased pangasius orders after the Lunar New Year.

These expectations can bring confidence in the recovery potential for pangasius enterprises in 2023.

Nguồn: Lê Hằng – VASEP.

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