China (Hong Kong) and the United States remain the two largest export markets for Vietnamese tra fish, with their market shares accounting for more than 50% of the total export value of local tra fish to 133 foreign markets, according to figures released by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
Despite making up a significant proportion in terms of the export structure, Vietnam's tra fish exports to the US market have yet to recover due to the adverse impacts caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Furthermore, since the end of September and early October, pangasius exports to China (Hong Kong) have enjoyed a rebound, with the majority of demand being centred around large-sized pangasius.
By the end of September pangasius exports to ASEAN, the nation’s third largest export market, had recorded a drop of 30.3% to US$102.8 million, of which export value to three major markets within the region, including Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, endured a decline of 27.4%, 1.4%, and 25.8%, respectively.
Throughout the nine-month period pangasius exports to the EU market experienced a downward trajectory, with the total export value to the fastidious market recording a drop of 33.8% to US$98.4 million.
In terms of EU importers, the Netherlands and Belgium saw a sharp fall of 27.7%, while exports to Germany and Spain decreased by 35.4% and 17.2%, respectively, in comparison with the same period from last year.
Most notably, pangasius exports to the UK market enjoyed a surge of 68.4% to US$4.8 million in September alone, with the total export value to the market during the reviewed period seeing an annual rise of 27% to US$30.78 million.
This rise means that the UK is the only location among the top 10 largest export markets of Vietnamese Tra fish to successfully maintain positive growth.
With a recovery occurring in some major export markets coupled with a boost in trade promotion activities by local enterprises, the price of raw pangasius by mid-October recorded an increase of VND3,500 to approximately VND22,000 per kilo for tra fish weighing between 0.7 and 0.8 kilo compared to the previous month.
Moreover, the prices of some large sized pangasius also recorded an increase to VND23,500 per kilo, which marks a positive outlook for the market ahead during the remaining months of the year.
Despite this, experts have advised farmers and export enterprises to remain cautious about expanding aquaculture areas for raw Tra fish moving forward.