Pangasius reversed, pushing up seafood exports

VCN- Despite the export restrictions due to the high rise in sea freight, seafood export in the first two months of the year saw good growth as a number of commodities increased strongly.
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Tra fish exports eye US$1.5 billion turnover this year Tra fish exports eye US$1.5 billion turnover this year
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Pangasius exports reversed and pushing up.

Export reached over US$1 billion

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), after increasing 23.4% in January 2021 to US$606 million, with positive signals from pangasius, marine fish (except tuna), white shrimp exports to some key markets increased strongly such as the US, Japan, Australia, Mexico, Taiwan, Brazil, seafood exports of the country in the first two months grew well, reaching over US$1 billion, increasing by 2.2%.

However, in February 2021, exports decreased by 19% compared to the same period in 2020, estimated at over US$405 million, because February this year coincides with the Lunar New Year holiday, the time of production, exploitation and processing is less than in February 2020.

In the first two months of 2021, Vietnam's export of seafood products continued to be dominated by the consumption of the market in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, the demand is leaning towards seafood products with reasonable prices, easy to process, long-term storage, suitable for processing and consumption at home such as frozen small white shrimp, shrimp processed white leg, fish ball, surimi, sea fish fillet, cut pieces, dried anchovies, dried squid.

Meanwhile, the export of frozen whole shrimp products, especially tiger shrimp, decreased due to the high price factor and the tight control of imported frozen food products of the Chinese market. In addition, the Tet holiday also caused the source of raw materials to decline, especially seafood items such as tuna, squid, octopus and sea shrimp,causing the export value to decrease.

Besides, export activities in the first two months of the year are also limited by high sea freight rates. InFebruary, shrimp exports are estimated at nearly US$160 million, down 18% over the same period in 2020.

By the end of February, they are over US$380 million, down slightly by 0.8% over the same period last year.

It is notable that the decrease in turnover was mainly due to the decrease of nearly 40% in the export of white-leg tiger shrimp, while white-leg shrimp exports accounted for an increasingly large proportion, 80% of the total shrimp exports with about US$304 million, up 14% over the same period. Last year, tiger shrimp accounted for only 10%, reaching US$38 million, down 48%.

Pangasius exports reversed to increase

After a continuous decline in 2020, earlier this year pangasius export has reversed with positive signs. Accordingly, exports in January increased 22%, reachingUS$123.5 million.

InFebruary exportsdecreased 17%, reachingUS$90 million, bringing the accumulated results up 1.7% over the same period last year. In January 2021, the export of frozen pangasius fillets increased by 54%, whole-pangasius increased by 162%.

In addition to Chinese customers, Colombian importers also increased the purchase of whole Vietnamese pangasius. In January 2021, this country mainly imported whole pangasius, while pangasius fillet only made up a small percentage.

Except for China and the EU, Vietnam's pangasius exports tended to recover strongly in all markets, including a sharp increase to the US (up 51% in January 2021), to CPTPP countries by 38% (of which to Mexico increased by 73%, to Australia by 45%, to Canada by 42% in January 2021).

Exports to other markets (Brazil, Colombia, UK, Russia) all increased from 37-129% in January. The total of seafood exports in January increased by 31.4%, reachingUS$264 million. In February it decreased 21% to US$156 million, bringing the export results in the first two months to nearly US$420 million, up 5.5%. In particular, exports of tuna and bivalve molluscs both decreased by 11%, squid and octopus exports increased slightly by 0.8%, marine fish increased by 15%, while crab exports decreased by 26%.

According to the export momentum in the first two months of the year, it is forecasted that the export turnover in March 2021 will reach about US$640 million, up 1.5% over the same period in 2020. Exports to the US, EU and CPTPP countries will maintain positive signals thanks to high demand and the "leverage" from free trade agreements such as the EVFTA and CPTPP.

In particular, EVFTA is expected to boost Vietnam's pangasius export turnover thanks to the difference in tax. Accordingly, the export tax rate of Vietnamese pangasius products to the EU inthree years will mostly decrease to 0%, lower than the tax rates of competitors such as Indonesia (4.5 - 9%) and China (0 - 9%).

With the above advantage, the target of the pangasius industry in 2021 is to recover with an increase of 5%, reaching an export turnover of about US$1.6 billion.

In 5 years, VASEP also set a target for pangasius export turnover of US$2.5 - 3 billion per year.

By Le Thu/Quynh Lan

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