Pangasius exporters set for difficult times this year amid COVID pandemic

Monday, Aug 23, 2021 08:31

A tra fish (pangasius) processing line for export in the Mekong Delta. — Photo

Viet Nam's tra fish (pangasius) exports have done well this year, but the outlook is less bright for the rest of the year since the Covid-19 pandemic has not been controlled yet.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), pangasius exports recovered better than expected, growing by nearly 18 per cent year-on-year in the first seven months to US$931 million.

The major markets were China, the US, Brazil, and Thailand.

According to VASEP, exports grew well thanks to the US market, which increased its buying thanks to the increasing Covid-19 vaccination and resumption of food services.

However, exports to the EU continued to decline as they have for the last three years.

According to VASEP, the pandemic has had a major impact by reducing trade due to the social distancing in many countries including France, Italy and Germany, while rising transport costs and a shortage of containers have also had a great impact on Viet Nam’s exports.

Meanwhile, input prices have risen by four to five times since the middle of last year, feed cost by 15-20 per cent and freight charges by five to 10 times, posing huge challenges for the rest of the year, VASEP deputy general secretary To Thi Tuong Lan said.

$9 billion exports in 2021

Viet Nam’s aquatic product exports are likely to rake in $9 billion his year thanks to the implementation of new generation free trade agreements, according to experts.

Despite complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country earned $4.88 billion from aquatic product exports in the first seven months of 2021, up 11 per cent year-on-year.

The increase was attributable to efforts by firms against the backdrop of COVID-19 which triggers labour shortages and difficulties in material purchase, as well as social distancing measures in 19 southern localities in a bid to curb the spread of the pandemic.

As of the end of July, revenues from aquatic product export to the US surpassed $1.14 billion, making up 22.9 per cent of Viet Nam total earnings and seeing a year-on-year expansion of 36 per cent.

Aquatic exports to other markets including Mexico, Brazil, the UK, Thailand and the Netherlands also enjoyed significant growth.

Exports to Africa reported a year-on-year surge of 32 per cent in volume and 16.7 per cent in value in the first seven months.

China is currently the largest market of Viet Nam’s aquatic products, accounting for 26 percent.

The target of $9 billion in export revenues is reachable this year if COVID-19 is promptly brought under control and the logistics system resumes normal operations, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Producers and Exporters (VASEP).

The Directorate of Fisheries advised firms to maintain shipments to traditional markets for sustainable growth, noting that from the start of 2022, China will apply new policies on the imports of Viet Nam’s agro-forestry-aquatic products. — VNS

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