Processing tra fish for exports (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) –
Vietnam’s tra fish (pangasius) exports to China continued to record year-on-year strong growth of 43 percent to 145 million USD in the first four months of 2018.

With this outcome, China has surpassed the US to become the biggest importer of Vietnamese tra fish, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Vietnam is currently the third largest provider of white fish for China, after Russia and Norway.

Tra and basa fish account for a mere 5.7 percent of China’s total import of white fish.

China’s demand for white fish is anticipated to continue growing in the time ahead, which means there is still a wide room for Vietnamese tra fish.

The VASEP forecast the export turnover of tra fish to the market will increase in the second quarter of 2018.

As tra fish exports to traditional markets like the EU and the US are facing difficulties due to high anti-dumping tariffs and technical barriers, China is considered a good alternative market for businesses.

However, domestic businesses should be more cautious when promoting exports to China though this is the largest importer of Vietnamese tra fish at present, it warned.

VASEP Secretary-General Truong Dinh Hoe said the association has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to increase quality management on tra fish exports to China, especially through road transport by granting quality product certificates before shipment.

The association also suggested the ministry inspect processing facilities to ensure the quality of export tra fish and study a long-term development strategy to promote exports in the market.

According to a report of the Directorate of Fisheries, the tra fish output hit 1.2 million tonnes in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 5.1 percent. In the year, export turnover of this fish reached 1.78 billion USD, up 4.3 percent against the previous year, accounting for 21 percent of the fishery industry’s total export value.

As of late 2017, the total area of tra fish farming was 5,230 ha, up 3.5 percent year-on-year, mainly in the Mekong Delta region

The export turnover of tra fish is expected to reach 2 – 2.2 billion USD in 2018, making up 31.5 percent of the fishery industry’s total export value. -VNA