January 19, 2017
Vietnamese pangasius exports in 2016 are estimated to hit US$1.66 billion, or 7% more than the previous year's, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, or Vasep. Pangasius accounted for 24% of total seafood export turnover.
Of the 137 markets around the world, the US had the largest share of 23%, followed by China with 17% and the EU, 16%.
In the fourth quarter, shipments to China outstripped the US as the former's imports of Vietnamese pangasius sharply increased, leading to a local shortage for production and exports.
Vietnam has, at present, more than 100 pangasius producers and exporters including 20 large enterprises, which take up about 80% of the whole industry and hold 70-80% of total material production.
In terms of volume, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, pangasius output in the Mekong Delta in 2016 totalled 1.19 million metric tonnes. The farming area totalled over 5,500 hectares. This year, the area for pangasius farming is expected to increase slightly to 5,600 hectares with the yield of 1.2 million metric tonnes.
Vietnamese pangasius exports are forecast to total over $1.7 billion in 2017, slightly up 4% year-on-year.
Exports to US
Through November 2016, Vietnam's pangasius exports to the US hit US$354.2 million, up 22.2% over the same period last year, and accounted for 22.9% of total pangasius exports. In recent years, enterprises had faced challenges in exports to this market due to high anti-dumping duty and the catfish inspection programme. Now, only about three large enterprises remain as exporters to this market.
With several strict regulations, USDA's catfish inspection programme will prove to be a technical barrier for Vietnam's pangasius enterprises, Vasep said. Although this programme hasn't had strong impacts on pangaius export turnover to the US, it has somewhat dented exporters' sentiment, it added.
Exports to China-Hong Kong
In the 11 months through November 2016, Vietnamese pangasius exports to China-Hong Kong reached $270.6 million, remarkably rising by 84.4% compared with the same period last year. This market overtook the EU to rank as second-largest buyer of Vietnamese pangasius last year.
If its strong growth is sustained, China-Hong Kong would become the largest importer of Vietnamese pangasius as early as next year.
Exports to EU
As of November, Vietnam's pangasius exports to EU reached S$238.8 million, down 9.9% year-on-year. Due to the continuous declines in the last three years, the EU has slipped to third place (behind China) among the largest importers of Vietnamese pangasius.
1st half of 2017
In the first half of 2017, Vietnamese pangasius exports to major importing markets including the US, China and Asean are expected to continue to rise. However, exports to the EU are predicted to decrease by 3-5% over the same period in 2016, Vasep said.