Catfish exports show positive growth in most markets

VCN - According to data from the Vietnamese Customs, catfish exports in October 2023 reached nearly US$173 million, a 4% decrease compared to the same period last year. It is expected that Vietnam will earn around US$1.8 billion from this commodity this year.
Which Which "key" helps sustainable catfish exports?
Great opportunity for shutchi catfish exports Great opportunity for shutchi catfish exports
Enterprises expand catfish exports Enterprises expand catfish exports
Catfish export businesses anticipate an increase in orders in the coming period
Catfish export businesses anticipate an increase in orders in the coming period

The narrowing decline trend

According to statistical data, in October 2023, catfish exports recorded positive growth in various markets such as China and Hong Kong, Mexico, Canada, and the EU. Among them, some South American and Asian markets are considered potential, including Brazil, China, and Thailand, with growth rates reaching double digits.

In October 2023, exports of live, fresh, frozen, and dried catfish products reached their highest value since the beginning of 2023, exceeding US$31 million, a 35% increase, accounting for 18% of the proportion compared to the same period last year. However, the leading export products were still processed catfish fillets, with sales reaching US$139 million, a slight decrease of 9% in October 2023, accounting for 80% of the total. Additionally, exports of other processed products amounted to over US$2 million, a 24% decrease compared to the same period in 2022.

According to Duong Nghia Quoc, Chairman of the Vietnam Catfish Association, as a key export product, Vietnamese catfish is now present in more than 150 countries and territories. Major markets include the US, the EU, China, ASEAN, and South America. The current market structure has changed, with a shifting trend towards the Chinese market, from 11% in 2015 to about 29% in 2022. The EU market has decreased, reaching about 9% in 2022 from 18% in 2015. The US market remains relatively stable, averaging around 20%.

According to the analysis of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in October 2023, China and Hong Kong continued to be the leading importers of Vietnamese catfish, recording positive growth with a value equivalent to the previous month, reaching US$56 million, a 15% increase compared to the same period last year. By the end of October 2023, catfish exports to this market decreased by 23%, reaching over US$490 million.

According to businesses, the demand for catfish in China has significantly decreased since the beginning of 2023. However, the sales volume of catfish fillets with seasoning is showing signs of improvement in this market, and businesses will focus on deep-processed products when exporting to the Chinese market.

Positive signals from the market

Alongside China, the US also ranks at the top among the largest consumers of Vietnamese catfish. However, export results to this market this year are not promising, with the export turnover decreasing by over half. Specifically, catfish export turnover to the US in October 2023 reached over US$21 million, a decrease from nearly US$23 million the previous month and a 43% decrease compared to the same period last year. By the end of October 2023, accumulated catfish exports to this market recorded more than a 50% decrease compared to the same period in 2022, reaching only US$228 million.

Currently, the US market has shown signs of improving consumer demand. The inventory ratio of products at the company's distributors and retailers in the US has decreased to an average level. Along with this, the consumer confidence index continues to improve. These factors, coupled with the upcoming holiday season, may stimulate businesses there to increase inventory, providing an opportunity for seafood exports in general, as well as Vietnamese catfish.

In addition to the positive signals from the US market, the EU has also increased its import of Vietnamese catfish since September 2023 and maintained a stable growth rate in October at 10%, with a value of nearly US$15 million. By the end of October 2023, the EU imported US$144 million of Vietnamese catfish, a 17% decrease compared to the same period last year.

Within the EU, Germany remains a bright spot, with Vietnamese catfish exports increasing by 44% compared to the first 10 months of 2022. In October 2023, the largest economy in Europe increased its catfish imports by 2.5 times. Besides Germany, in October 2023, most major markets importing Vietnamese catfish in the EU recorded declines, such as the Netherlands (down 27%), Belgium (down 35%), and Spain (down 7%). Demand for Vietnamese catfish in the EU is gradually increasing as the region prepares for the end-of-year holiday season. The EU is expected to be a bright spot in exports in the last months of this year, being evaluated as having a more stable economy compared to other key markets.

The CPTPP market, for the first time, saw positive growth after several months of declining catfish imports from Vietnam, with a value of US$23 million in October 2023, a slight increase of 4% compared to the same period last year.

The signs of recovery and mild growth in the first quarter of Q4 2023 are expected to be maintained and increase in the last two months of the year. However, acmarket markets in South America and Asia, in addition to the US and China. Moreover, they should enhance exports of other products besides frozen fillets to maintain a proactive position.

Thanks to the catfish export turnover from Vietnam in the first 10 months of 2023 reaching over US$1.5 billion, a 29% decrease compared to the same period in 2022, the VASEP forecasted that Vietnam would earn around nearly US$1.8 billion from this key export item this year.

By Le Thu/ Ha Thanh

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