China could take lead in tra fish import

Monday, Nov 28, 2016 18:19

Tra fish, weighing 750-950g, is priced at between VND21,000 (US$0.9) and VND23,000 per kg in the Vietnamese market. — Photo

China will possibly become the largest importer of Vietnamese tra (catfish) in 2017, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Viet Nam earned US$235.5 million from exporting tra fish to China, including the Hong Kong market, in the first 10 months of this year, an increase of 76 per cent compared with last year.

In the last two years, the value of tra exports to China has continuously increased, VASEP said.

In the first six months of this year, China ranked the third largest importer of Vietnamese tra fish, occupying 14.8 per cent of the domestic market share, behind the United States and the European Union, with 23.7 per cent and 16.8 per cent, respectively.

According to the Vietnam Trade Promotion Office in China’s Chongqing City, China’s demand for Vietnamese tra fish has rapidly increased recently because of its reasonable prices. Chinese customers mainly imported the fish for processing fast food in restaurants, hotels, refectories and flights.

The United States is currently the largest importer of Vietnamese tra fish and has been maintaining its strong growth since early this year. However, in the future, Viet Nam will certainly face difficulty in exporting tra fish to the US market because of the US Department of Agriculture’s Final Rule, which came into effect in March this year to regulate locally raised and imported Siluriformes fish.

Under the rule, an 18-month transitional implementation period is applicable to both domestic and international catfish producers.

This may make China the largest importer of tra fish from Viet Nam next year.

VASEP said the tra market in Cuu Long River Delta was heading to a standstill in both consumption and prices because local factories had slowed down purchase and production since had already bought a sufficient quantity of fish through orders, which would serve during the Christmas holiday and the solar new year in Europe, United States and China.

Tra fish, weighing 750-950g, is priced at between VND21,000 (US$0.9) and VND23,000 per kg. — VNS

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