The first two months of this year saw Vietnam's pangasius exports reach US$237.3 million, up 5.6% from the same period last year, with the US and the EU accounting for 40.5% of total exports.
During the first two months of this year, Vietnamese pangasius exports reached US$237.3 million, up 5.6% from the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep).
The two largest markets during the two-month period were the US and the EU, with the value of exports to these two destinations increasing, year-on-year, by 14.7% and 0.4%, respectively. The US and the EU accounted for 40.5% of total exports.
Brazil, which was the fifth-largest market of Vietnamese pangasius, posted the strongest growth at 642.7% in terms of market value. Exports to this country were valued at $14.5 million.
China - Hong Kong and Asean were the third- and fourth-largest importers of Vietnamese pangasius during the two-month period.
Exports to some main markets declined during the same period. Thus, exports to the Netherlands were down 11.6%; the UK 11.8%; Mexico 48.6%; Colombia 17.6%; and Saudi Arabia -3.5%.
Vasep said that in January-February 2016, Vietnamese pangasius exports to the US were not affected by the catfish inspections program of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), as exports to this market hit $56 million, accounting for 23.6% of total exports, up 14.7% from the same period in 2015.
As of end-February 2016, Vietnamese pangasius exports to the European Union reached $40.2 million, up 0.4% from last year. Among the top four markets of Vietnamese pangasius in the EU bloc, exports to the Netherlands and the UK decreased by 11.6% and 11.8%, respectively; exports to Spain were up 34%; and Germany increased by 14.3%.
In Quarters 2 and 3, pangasius exports to the EU are predicted to continue growing by less than 10% year-on-year. Vietnam pangasius now competes with some white fish species in the EU market. However, the price of Vietnam pangasius is more competitive than those of other species.
China - Hong Kong market
Through February 2016, Vietnam pangasius exports to this market touched $25.4 million, up 32.6% from the same period in 2015.
In Quarters 2 and 3, Vietnam's pangasius exports to China - Hong Kong are expected to increase by 20%-35% year-on-year due to rising demand.
Vietnamese pangasius exports to Brazil rose by 484% in January 2016 and 2,185% in February 2016, following the slump in 2015.
Vietnam's pangasius sales to this market this year are expected to surge due to the stable exchange rate.
In January-February 2016, Vietnam sold $21.5 million of pangasius to the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) bloc, up 9.8% compared with the same period in 2015. Exports to Thailand and Singapore rose 30.6% and 14%, respectively. However, pangasius exports to the Philippines decreased.
In 2016, Asean is expected to remain attractive to Vietnamese pangasius exporters as the region's growth remains stable.