Tra fish exports expected to continue recovering hinh anh 1Vietnam’s total export value of pangasius in the first five months of 2021 reached 600 million USD. (Photo:

- The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) forecasts that Vietnam's tra fish (pangasius) exports will continue to grow in the coming months thanks to the control of the COVID-19 pandemic in importing countries, said VASEP Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe.

According to VASEP, after having COVID-19 vaccines, the economic and trade activities of many countries have started to recover, so the countries have also increased imports of seafood from Vietnam, especially tra fish products.

Việt Nam’s total export value of pangasius in the first five months of 2021 reached 600 million USD, an increase of 10 percent compared to the same period in 2020.

The large export markets of Vietnamese pangasius in this period were China, US, Brazil and Thailand. Of which, the tra fish export value reached about 27 million USD to Brazil and 26 million USD to Thailand, a year-on-year increase of 38.7 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively.

"The export growth to Thailand, the largest pangasius importer in ASEAN, is a good signal to increase the pangasius export value to this region in the next quarter," said Hoe.

In addition, the US market also increased imports of Vietnamese pangasius from the beginning of 2021, according to the association. In May, Vietnma’s tra fish export value to the US increased by 120 percent over the same period last year, reaching more than 35 million USD. Since the end of 2020, the inventory of pangasius in the US has been limited.

Meanwhile, the domestic catfish production has also declined. Therefore, the US has increased imports of frozen tra fish products from the beginning of this year.

The total value of pangasius exports to Hong Kong in the first five months reached 146 million USD, accounting for nearly 24 percent of Vietnam's total pangasius export value. This market returned to the list of largest pangasius export markets for Vietnamese tra fish products, VASEP reported.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the sales strategy of Vietnamese seafood enterprises. Besides reducing trade activities due to the social distancing policy in many countries, high transportation costs and the shortage of containers have also had great impacts on Vietnam’s seafood exports, it said.

This forces the local seafood processing and exporting enterprises to change their sales strategies to keep customers and overcome difficulties during this period, according to VASEP.

Truong Tien Dung, general director of the Saigon Seafood Trading Joint Stock Company (APT), said the company’s exports of pangasius and catfish products in the first five months of this year increased by 10 percent over the same period in 2020.

To achieve this result, APT must actively discuss with customers to produce products according to demands of the export market, instead of offering products that the company produces. Therefore, it has enhanced production of new processed products from pangasius and catfish.

According to Ong Hang Van, Deputy General Director of the Truong Giang Seafood Joint Stock Company in Dong Thap province, in the context of COVID-19, many seafood businesses have also changed their trading methods with partners.

Instead of signing CIF contracts that the local enterprises have delivered goods at the port in importing countries, the enterprises have signed FOB contracts, in which the enterprises deliver goods at ports in Vietnam. With this method, the importers must take care of transporting the country's export goods to the importing countries.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Import-Export Department also forecasts that Vietnam's seafood exports by year end will continue growing due to increasing demand in the US and EU markets.

After increasing 22 percent to 749 million USD in April 2021, Vietnam's seafood export continued to surge by 24 percent in May to 790 million USD. This export value in the first five months of this year rose by 14 percent to reach 3.27 billion USD.

Although the economic recovery in the EU market is slower than that of the US, consumption demand is recovering because the pandemic is being controlled gradually. European importers tend to be more interested in Vietnamese seafood suppliers due to tariff advantages from the EVFTA and stable raw materials, according to VASEP.

Vietnam's seafood export value to the EU in May increased by 30 percent to 95 million USD. The export value in the first five months reached 380 million USD, up 15 percent over the same period last year.

For the US market, the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign along with economic stimulus package of the US Government have encouraged quick recovery of seafood consumption demand in this market. The higher seafood demand is not only in retail but also services, restaurants, hotels and entertainment after a period of social distancing due to the pandemic. The market has higher demand for shrimp, tuna, salmon, pangasius, squid, octopus, crabs and molluscs such as clams and mussels.

In addition, Vietnam's seafood exports to countries with free trade agreements also increased sharply in the first five months, including to Australia (65 percent), Canada (12 percent), and to the UK (17 percent). These markets are expected to play a significant role in promoting Vietnam's seafood export growth in 2021 and beyond./.