A difficult year for pangasius exports

VCN - In 2019, Pangasius exports faced difficulties because the price of pangasius fell and sold below cost. However, the US’ recognition of the equivalent of Vietnam's catfish food safety control system for exports to the US and the opportunity from new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs) will help Pangasius exports prosper in 2020.
a difficult year for pangasius exports Fluctuations in the market, Pangasius exports struggle to reach 2.4 billion USD
a difficult year for pangasius exports Pangasius exports plunge in many markets
a difficult year for pangasius exports Pangasius exports expected to grow in the last months of the year
a difficult year for pangasius exports
Pangasius exports in 2019 reached about $2.3 billion. Photo: N. Thanh

Low-price obsession

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), at the end of October, the total export value of Pangasius reached $1.64 billion, down 10% compared to the same period in 2018. Due to the value of Pangasius exports to some major markets such as the US, Brazil and Colombiain negative growth, raw material prices fell sharply over the same period last year, so Pangasius exports during this time could not rise. It’s notablethat thedifficultiesof Pangasius export is related to the import policy from Vietnam's leading Pangasius export market, the US.

In April, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) raised anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese pangasius in the final result of the 14th administrative review (POR14) for shipments in the phase of 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2017. Specifically, the highest increase was Hung Vuong Group JSC from $0/kg in preliminary results to $3.87/kg. Other pangasius exporting enterprises, namely C.P Vietnam, CL-FISH, GREEN FARMS SEAFOOD and VINH QUANG CORP, are subject to a tax rate of $1.37/kg. The national tax rate is still$2.39/kg.

“By the end of October, Pangasius export to the US market reached $232.9 million, a deep decline to 45.8% compared to the same period last year. At the same time, this is the strongest decline in the last 5 years,”according toVASEP.

Regarding thedeclineof pangasius export, the Department of Agricultural Product Processing and Market Development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) saidthe cause is due to fierce competition in both price and quality from India, Ecuador, Indonesia, Thailand, China and Malaysia. These countries have started to raise pangasius.

In the domestic market, the obsession with the pangasius industry this year is that the price is too low. Since the end of March, the Pangasius price has continuously decreased. The Department of Agro-product Processing and Market saidprices of raw material pangasius in the Mekong Delta in November continued to stayat low levels, fluctuating between VND20,000-20,500/kg for type I pangasius (800-900g/piece), while the purchasing price at the farm fluctuates from VND19,000 to VND19,700/kg. This price decreased about 5,000-8,000 VND/kg compared to the same period in 2018. The market is slow, companies mainly harvest fish in the farming areas of enterprises and purchase under contracts associated with fish farmers.

Mr. Duong Nghia Quoc, Chairman of the Vietnam Pangasius Association, said: "Last year, Pangasius prices were high, people rushed to raise them, leading to anoversupply. Meanwhile, this year's Pangasius export leveled off aftera year of strong growth. With the selling price below cost, sometimes only 19,000 - 20,000 VND/kg, farmers can’t suffer from it."

Glimmer of good news at the end of the year

The General Department of Fisheries (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) expects that this year Pangasius exports will reach $2.3 billion. Besides the difficulties of the market and the low prices, in the last days of the year the Vietnamese pangasius industry has received positive information. Specifically, on October 31, the US Department of Agriculture officially announced the decision to recognize the equivalent of Vietnam's catfish food safety control system for exporting to the US after more than three years of efforts byVietnam.

Mr. Nguyen Nhu Tiep, Director of the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (Nafiqad), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the US’ recognition of the equivalent of Vietnam's catfish food safety control system for exporting to the United States confirmed quality control, food safety, Pangasius export and processing chain of Vietnam has met one of the most stringent requirements, helping Vietnamese Pangasius to access and expand the export market not only in the US but also other markets.In addition, Vietnam has been adding more businesses registering to export pangasius to the US (currently 13 enterprises).

It is more important to create confidence for US importers to be assured of importing. This will help increase the production and export value of pangasius into this market in the last months of 2019.

“Meeting the requirements of the US’ equivalent recognition will contribute significantly to the transformation of pangasius farming industry from small production to large production on the basis of systematic control from the seed to the final product, at the same time paving the way for the sustainable development of the fisheries sector,”Mr. Tiep said.

Mr. Duong Nghia Quoc also said that the US recognition of equivalent Pangasius food safety control system of Vietnam exporting to the US has given huge opportunities for this industry. In addition, favorable conditions that will help pangasius export torecover in 2020 are new generation FTAs ​​such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and Vietnam-EUFTA(EVFTA) with the commitment that Vietnam's seafood import tax will be very beneficial for Vietnam's export enterprises; markets of ASEAN countries continue to be stable.

a difficult year for pangasius exports Fluctuations in the market, Pangasius exports struggle to reach 2.4 billion USD

VCN - As one of the two key export items of Vietnam's seafood sector, Pangasius exports in ...

VASEP acknowledged that EVFTA will be a "big push" for Vietnam's exports, helping to diversify markets and export products, especially agricultural and aquatic products as well as Vietnam's competitive advantageproducts. The level of commitment in EVFTA can be considered the highest level of commitment that Vietnam has achieved in FTAs ​​that have been signed so far. According to VASEP, Pangasius exporting enterprises can also be optimistic that there will be many opportunities for Vietnam in some traditional or potential markets with Pangasius such as Mexico, Japan and Chilewith the CPTPP.

By Nguyen Thanh/Quynhlan

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