Vietnam pangasius Q1 exports grow slower at 2.4%
Vietnamese pangasius exports during the first quarter hit US$365.4 million, up 2.4% over the same period in 2015, despite raw pangasius price falling due to lower demand from some major markets. The first-quarter growth rate was, however, lower than the 5.6% achieved during the first two months of this year.
Exports to three large markets in the first three months rose year-on-year: the US by 3.4%, China-Hong Kong by 48.2% and Brazil, 542.2%.
However, exports to the EU declined by 6.8%; Asean by 0.4%; Mexico, 2.8%; Colombia, 20.3%; and Saudi Arabia, 11.8%, compared with the same period last year.
Frozen/fresh pangasius fillets/whole round (HS code 03) accounted for 99.2% of total export value, while processed pangasius (HS code 16) accounted for 0.8%.
The US market
Exports to the US in the first quarter hit US$80.6 million, up 3.4% compared with 2015. Despite the increase in export value, the number of enterprises engaged in exporting pangasius to the US decreased due to high anti-dumping tax.
Since early 2016, the export price of pangasius to the US has also been affected by the US Department of Agriculture's catfish inspection program.
In the next quarters, Vietnam pangasius exports to this market are predicted to decrease due to these tax and catfish-inspection factors.
The EU market
Exports to the EU in the first quarter reached $63.6 million, down 6.8% year-on-year. Among the four largest importers in the EU bloc, exports to Spain and German picked up by 17.9% and 4.4%, respectively, while exports to the Netherlands and the UK dipped 13% and 22.5%, respectively.
In the succeeding two quarters, pangasius exports to the EU are predicted to continue to grow by less than 10% over the same period in 2015.
Currently, Vietnamese pangasius is competing with some white-fish species in the EU market. The price of Vietnam pangasius is more competitive than those of these species. Building and promoting the image, prestige of Vietnam pangasius is always prioritised to combat unfair competition through smear campaign against Vietnamese pangasius via mass media.
Brazil market
After a decline in export value in 2015, Vietnam pangasius export to Brazil, as of mid-Mar 2016, reached US$17.2 million, up a hefty 761.5% from the same period last year. It will be recalled that in the first quarter last year, pangasius exports to Brazil were stalled due to the temporary ban imposed by Brazil's Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture on Vietnamese pangasius. The ban was lifted in April 2015.
Source: Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers
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