August 26, 2016
Vietnamese tilapia exports in the first half hit nearly US$14 million, eight-fold higher than the same period in 2015, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (Vasep) reported.
During this six-month period, exports to the US (Vietnam's biggest buyer) reached more than $2 million, three times higher than last year. Vietnam had to compete strongly with Chinese tilapia due to higher average export price, Vasep said.
Following the US among the top 10 importers, in that order, were Colombia, the Netherlands, Turkey, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, which all accounted for 70% of total export value.
While the US was the No. 1 buyer of Vietnamese tilapia, Vietnam was only its third-largest source, accounting for a mere 10% of the market share, after China (65%) and Taiwan (21%).
Vasep said Vietnam tilapia exports this year may hit $45 million, up 32% from 2015's $34 million due to the rise in demand, higher import prices, diversification strategies of farmed species and exported products and development policies of the tilapia sector into large manufacturing sector.
The forecast should receive a boost from a FAO prediction that Chinese tilapia production is expected to further decline this year due to the extreme cold weather in China early in the year, which affected many tilapia farms. Last year production dropped by an estimated 40% due to unfavourable weather conditions coupled with continued lower demand in the US and the EU.