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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tra fish exports rebound on strong U.S. demand

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Pangasius (tra fish) exports are showing signs of recovery after a decline earlier this year, driven by strong demand from the U.S.

Customs data showed that tra fish export revenue in the first five months of the year increased 2% against the same period last year to US$725 million.

The U.S. remains the largest importer of Vietnamese tra fish, reported the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). The U.S. has significantly increased its imports of processed tra fish products, with their value rising 8.5 times over the same period last year.

Frozen tra fish fillets are the primary export product to the U.S., with sales reaching over US$120 million by the end of May, a 19% year-on-year increase. These fillets account for 98% of the total export value of tra fish to the U.S.

VASEP’s General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said that U.S. consumers are increasingly favoring white fish products, particularly Vietnamese tra fish. Numerous Vietnamese companies recently participated in the Seafood Expo North America to promote these products.

The flavor and versatility of Vietnamese tra fish, suitable for various dishes from packaged fillets to prepared products like fish sticks and fish burgers, continue to attract U.S. importers. The decline in the supply of other white fish, such as tilapia, has also boosted demand for Vietnamese tra fish.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to decide in July whether to recognize Vietnam as a market economy. Such recognition could benefit Vietnamese exporters in future anti-dumping tax reviews for shrimp and tra fish, Hoe said.

In Europe, despite a brief recovery in April, tra fish exports have edged down by 7% in the first five months of the year, totaling an estimated US$70 million. Germany has overtaken the Netherlands as the largest European market for Vietnamese tra fish.

Other European countries, including Lithuania, Spain, Belgium, Greece and Portugal, have shown significant growth in imports in May, with respective increases of 215%, 69%, 62%, 46%, and 15%.

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