Tra fish processing for export (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Vietnamese tra fish exporters are confident that their business will continue to thrive in the coming time despite facing anti-dumping duties and expansion of farming areas in many rival countries.

Barriers to Vietnamese tra fish in the US are likely to decrease as the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) under the United States Department of Agriculture recognised the catfish inspection system in Vietnam together with China and Thailand as equivalent to that in the US in 2018, which means Vietnam is eligible to continue tra fish shipment to the American market.

At the same time, exporters can take advantage of the US-China trade dispute to increase their market share in the US, replacing Chinese tilapia that currently accounts for 40 percent of all fish imports to the US.

The tra fish industry will also benefit a lot from the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). During the trip to EU from March 18 to April 8, Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan had a meeting with Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade Bernd Lange to discuss the future of the pact.

Bernd Lange said that the EVFTA might be signed and approved in June or July when the European Parliament completes its elections and enters a new term.

Once the deal takes effect, 90 percent of tariff lines on seafood exports to the EU will be cut to zero in three to four years from the current rate of 14 percent.

With the popularity of processed products in the US and EU markets, Vietnam has the potential to increase its profits from high-value products. The gross margin for the products is 22-25 percent, higher than the margin of 12-16 percent for frozen fillets.

According to Duong Nghia Quoc, Chairman of the Vietnam Pangasius Association, favourable weather conditions combined with advanced farming technology make it easy for Vietnam to produce white-meat tra products, which have won the taste of consumers. Meanwhile, other major tra producers like India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia produce low-value yellow-meat tra fish.

Besides, the Vietnam Association of Seafood and Exporters and Producers is studying to set up a market development fund to help local firms build brands and expand sale networks in foreign countries.

At the same time, tra fish has been recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade as national product entitled to special policies.

However, Quoc cautioned that farmers, producers, exporters and localities should tightly control farming areas, and prevent mass breeding to avoid tra fish oversupply.-VNA