Processing tra fish for exports (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The export turnover of tra fish soared 19.5 percent to 1.18 billion USD in the first seven months of 2018, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

In July alone, the country exported 182 million USD worth of tra fish, representing a year-on-year rise of 13.5 percent.

Major consumers of Vietnamese tra fish include China, the US, the European Union (EU), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

High export growth was seen in the UAE (up 133.5 percent), China (up 45.2 percent) and ASEAN (up 36.5 percent).

China remained the biggest importer of Vietnamese tra fish with 290 million USD, up 45.2 percent year-on-year, making up 24.7 percent of the total export turnover for this product.

The US came second with 250 million USD (up 11.5 percent) followed by the EU with 137.5 million USD (up 15.3 percent), accounting for 20.4 percent and 11.7 percent of the total figure, respectively.

Notably, the UAE surpassed Saudi Arabia to be among top 8 importers of Vietnamese tra fish with 32.5 million USD, recording a considerable growth of 133.5 percent.

In 2017, the UAE was the third largest importer of Vietnamese tra fish in the Middle East market with a value of 23 million USD, down 13.2 percent compared to the previous year. 

However, Vietnam’s tra fish exports to the UAE reversed with a sharp upturn in export value in the first months of this year, with increases shooting up by between 117-221 percent a month since March.  

The strong growth was attributed to the Saudi Food & Drug Authority (SFDA)’s decision to suspend imports of fish, crustacean and other aquatic products from Vietnam.

The temporary suspension was based on the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)’s "Quarterly Aquatic Animal Disease Report (Asia-Pacific Region) April - June 2017", and the outcomes of the working visit to Vietnam by SFDA in late 2017.

Vietnam is the world’s largest exporter of tra fish, making up more than half of the global tra fish output. 

There is increasing demand for Vietnamese tra fish in Russia, the Middle East, and Asian countries.-VNA