November 9, 2017 


Vietnam pangasius finds market in China amid persistent EU backlash 


Suffering from a backlash in the EU due to bad publicity, Vietnamese pangasius has found a market in China - Hong Kong, which imported US$247.4 million worth of the fish during the first eight months.


China accounted for 21.3% of the total export value, up 43.9% over the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).


VASEP said that in the first eight months, Vietnam's pangasius shipments to some big potential importing markets such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Saudi Arabia also recorded remarkable increases of 63.9%, 26.4%; 2.5% and 5.4% respectively over the same period last year.


Exports to the US and the EU fell by 6% and 21.7% respectively year-on-year during the first eight months.


According to VASEP, Vietnam's pangasius exports to the EU have not shown any positive signs. Exports to four single markets within the 28-nation bloc-the Netherlands, the UK, Germany and Belgium-decreased by 3.6%, 4.9%, 19.8% and 0.2% respectively over the same period last year.


Vietnam has struggled to promote pangasius, whose image has suffered because of what it claimed is a smear campaign waged through mass media, particularly in the EU.  In the EU, Vietnam pangasius must compete with tilapia products from China.


Vietnamese pangasius suffered a backlash, especially in Spain where a damaging exposé aired on Spanish television in January. As a result, the Carrefour supermarket chain ceased selling Vietnamese pangasius.


Alfons van Duijvenbode, VASEP' Dutch consultant, said that European consumers had a bad impression of Vietnamese pangasius due to what he said was wrong information in social media.-Rick Alberto
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