A favorable market creates more opportunities for pangasius exports.

The market is showing positive signs that pangasius has the potential to recover, especially when competing products face disadvantages.

Positive signs from the market

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP), Vietnamese pangasius exports in 2023 are estimated to have reached 1.85 billion USD, down about 25% from the previous year.

Vietnamese pangasius exports in 2023 saw a decline in terms of value compared to the previous year. However, the market in 2024 is showing positive signs that pangasius has the potential to recover, especially when competing products face disadvantages.

According to VASEP, although market share has been declining in some markets, pangasius exports are showing more promising signs in some markets such as China, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. “In addition to the main product of frozen pangasius fillet, processed products such as dried pangasius maw and pangasius cakes are being considered by many markets such as the United States, China, Malaysia, and Singapore,” said Le Hang, VASEP’s Communications Director.

Photo by Bao Cong Thuong

Tran Thi Hoang Thu, Business Director of Vinh Hoan Corporation, assessed that although the seafood market in general and pangasius in particular faced many difficulties this year, there are currently some positive signs on the market for 2024.

Specifically, according to Ms. Thu, customers from importing markets are paying more attention to pangasius products. In particular, in November of last year, the EU passed a new regulation that imposed a 13.7% tariff on cod and pollock from Russia, rather than continuing to enjoy a zero-tariff benefit. This move has led importers to begin paying more attention to pangasius.

In addition, the US market is also considering a law that would completely ban the import of whitefish and seafood from Russia into the US. This is also an opportunity for Vietnamese pangasius exports in 2024.

In addition, the good results of the assessment of food safety for Vietnamese pangasius by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the recent inspection, along with the low tariff in the 19th administrative review period (POR19) (even if it is preliminary), also raised many hopes for pangasius enterprises to penetrate the US market in 2024.

 

Solving the problem of seedstock and reducing product costs

Although the pangasius market is showing signs of recovery, VASEP said that pangasius enterprises are still facing many challenges due to the increasingly stringent regulations and technical barriers of importing countries; the breeding conditions are facing many disadvantages due to climate change, high cost of production, etc.

In this context, enterprises are focusing on reducing product costs through sustainable aquaculture and processing according to international standards; focusing on researching market tastes, diversifying products; and also focusing on the domestic market. Phan Thanh Mai, General Director of International Fisheries Company, said that Vietnamese pangasius products have met the requirements of export markets and are being welcomed by consumers around the world. However, with the domestic market, enterprises need to find solutions to make products have a suitable price.

In addition, many enterprises have invested in concentrated breeding areas in the direction of high technology. A typical example is the high-tech pangasius breeding project of Nam Viet Corporation implemented in Binh Phu commune, Chau Phu district, An Giang province. With a scale of 600 hectares, it is equipped with modern technologies such as an automatic feeding system to help reduce labor costs, a solar power system to reduce electricity costs and is environmentally friendly.

In particular, the unit also applies IoT solutions in the automatic control of the environment of intensive pangasius ponds to monitor the quality of water, which is an important solution to improve productivity, reduce product costs, and use environmentally friendly technology to increase competitiveness.

Regarding long-term solutions for the pangasius industry, Ms. Thu said that enterprises need the support of local and central authorities to promote support to help 100% of breeding households, commercial households obtain food safety certification. Because this will be a condition for many importing markets, including the United States and the EU, to increase purchases.

“The Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Quality Management (Nafiqad) requires the raw material areas to also meet food safety standards, so we hope that many facilities will be encouraged to obtain certification, because in the difficult market situation, safe products will be more convenient, easier to expand cooperation,” Ms. Thu said.

According to Bao Cong Thuong

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