U.S. Imports of Value-Added Pangasius from Vietnam Surge by 8.5 Times

By the end of April 2024, the United States has increased its imports of value-added pangasius products from Vietnam by 8.5 times, amounting to $860,000 USD.

According to data from the Vietnam General Department of Customs, pangasius exports to the U.S. in April 2024 garnered nearly $38 million USD, a 34% increase compared to April 2023. By the end of April, this market consumed $102 million USD worth of pangasius, marking a 19% increase from the same period last year.

Illustrative photo: Value-added Pangasius. Source: Fatifish

Notably, since the beginning of this year, the U.S. has continuously and significantly increased the import of value-added pangasius products from Vietnam. In the first month of the year, Vietnam exported nearly $295,000 USD worth of value-added pangasius to the U.S., an 18-fold increase from the same period; in February 2024, this value reached over $114,000 USD, a staggering 2,200-fold increase, and in March 2024, it rose by 76% with $150,000 USD.

In April 2024, the export of value-added pangasius products to the U.S. reached over $300,000 USD compared to just $5 USD in export value for these products in April 2023 (a 67,000-fold increase). By the end of April 2024, the U.S. had increased its imports of these value-added products from Vietnam by 8.5 times, totaling $860,000 USD.

Contrary to the strong demand for value-added pangasius, the U.S. imports of frozen pangasius in April 2024 witnessed a negative growth of 72%, with a value of $165,000 USD. The total export of frozen pangasius from Vietnam to the U.S. in the first four months of this year reached nearly $1 million USD, a decrease of 28% compared to the same period last year.

Frozen pangasius fillets remain the mainstay of Vietnam’s pangasius exports to the U.S. In April 2024, the export value of these frozen fillet products to the U.S. was over $37 million USD, a 35% increase from April 2023. This is the highest value the U.S. has imported since the beginning of the year for pangasius products under HS code 0304 (excluding fish cakes and surimi). By the end of April 2024, the export of frozen pangasius fillets to the U.S. reached over $100 million USD, a 19% increase from the same period in 2023, accounting for 98% of the total export value of pangasius to the U.S.

U.S. consumers are increasing their demand for white meat fish products, particularly pangasius from Vietnam. The export of pangasius to the U.S. in April and the first four months of this year has shown promising signs after a continuous decline in 2023. Recently, numerous Vietnamese enterprises participated and introduced Vietnamese pangasius products at the North American Seafood Exhibition. With the advantage of delicious white meat fish suitable for a variety of dishes, from packaged fillets, frozen products to ready-to-cook items like fish sticks and fish burgers, they have attracted importers from this market.

Furthermore, the diminishing supply of white meat fish for the U.S. amidst a shortage of other white meat fish products like tilapia is a positive signal for Vietnam’s pangasius exports to the U.S. market.

The news that the U.S. is considering recognizing Vietnam as a market economy has brought optimistic hope to many sectors of the Vietnamese economy, including the seafood industry. In July 2024, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is expected to decide whether Vietnam will transition from a non-market economy to a market economy status. If Vietnam is recognized as having a market economy, this will be an advantage for Vietnamese enterprises in upcoming administrative reviews of anti-dumping duties on shrimp and pangasius.

Adapted and translated from Bao Cong Thuong

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