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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Vietnam’s tra fish exports rise as demand surges in China, ASEAN

By Thanh Tin

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HCMC – Vietnamese tra fish (pangasius) exports have picked up, with growth momentum continuing until the end of this year, driven by strong demand in China and ASEAN countries, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

In May, Vietnam exported over 83,000 tons of tra fish, a 46% increase against the year-ago period and an 8% rise versus the previous month. This is the highest monthly export volume since 2022, marking the third consecutive month of growth.

The surge is primarily due to robust Chinese demand, where Vietnamese tra fish benefits from competitive pricing. Chinese consumers, facing economic constraints, are increasingly opting for cheaper imported tra fish fillets over domestically farmed freshwater fish like carp. This trend is expected to continue boosting Vietnam’s tra fish exports in the second half of this year.

Tra fish exports to other markets have also increased. Shipments to ASEAN countries rose by 7%, to Mexico by 15%, and to the United Kingdom by 33%.

The Chinese market is recovering with high demand and stable prices, further bolstering Vietnam’s tra fish exports. Given the current economic situation in China, consumers there prefer more affordable options, solidifying the market position of Vietnamese tra fish fillets, said VASEP.

Positive trends are also seen in the U.S. market. Vietnam’s customs data showed that in the first half of June, tra fish exports to the U.S. reached nearly US$14 million, up by 39% over the same period last year.

By mid-June, cumulative exports to the U.S. totaled US$146 million, an 18% year-on-year spike. In ASEAN markets, May exports reached nearly 9,000 tons, the highest since November 2023.

Overall, VASEP estimated that in the first six months of the year, the total export value of tra fish was about US$922 million, rising nearly 6% against the same period last year.

VASEP forecast that tra fish exports will continue to rise in the second half of the year due to high demand from key markets such as China and ASEAN. However, for sustained long-term growth, Vietnamese exporters must improve product quality, diversify markets, and reduce production costs.

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