Vietnamese pangasius exports to reach $1.8 billion in 2023

On December 15, in Long Xuyên city, An Giang province, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the An Giang provincial People’s Committee held a conference to summarize the pangasius industry in 2023 and plan for 2024. Attending the conference were Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến, Vice Chairman of the An Giang Provincial People’s Committee Lê Văn Phước, as well as the departments, agencies, and pangasius production and processing enterprises in the Mekong Delta region.

Hội nghị tổng kết ngành hàng cá tra năm 2023

According to MARD, the pangasius industry faced many challenges in 2023 due to inflation and political instability. It is estimated that the total area of pangasius ponds in Vietnam in 2023 will reach about 5,700 hectares (98% of 2022), with a production of about 1.61 million tons (the same as the same period). Export turnover is estimated to reach $1.8 billion, only 75% of 2022.

Specifically, as of the end of November 2023, pangasius exports reached nearly $1.7 billion, down 26% from the same period last year. The average export price of pangasius fell in major markets, especially the US and China, which dragged down the export value of pangasius. However, the pangasius market is showing positive signs in some markets such as China, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and the UK, especially from the second quarter of 2024. It is projected that the production of pangasius in 2024 will increase by 2.8% from 2023; the production in the first and second quarters of 2024 will still meet the demand for processing and export.

According to the conference participants, in addition to the reasons that the global economic instability and inflation have led to a decrease in demand for pangasius products, export activities have faced many difficulties, and there is a large amount of inventory, there are also other reasons such as: some neighboring countries have developed pangasius production; the products of Vietnamese pangasius are still monotonous; products with added value account for a small proportion, so they have not created great competition and commercial value.

In addition, it is also affected by the stages of breeding and commercial production such as: feed accounts for a large proportion (70-80%) of production costs; some breeding facilities do not pay attention to strictly controlling the parent fish during breeding, do not comply with the correct use period of parent fish, the survival rate in the nursery stage is still low; some localities have not implemented the issuance of Breeding Certificate for small-scale breeding facilities as prescribed.

The conference participants discussed and proposed technical solutions to improve the quality of fish seed and management to increase the efficiency of pangasius farming in 2024.

Deputy Minister Phùng Đức Tiến said that to achieve the target of 1.7 million tons of farmed pangasius production and $2 billion in export turnover in 2024, the localities in the Mekong Delta region, especially the two provinces of An Giang and Đồng Tháp, and pangasius processing and exporting companies need to focus on improving the quality of pangasius seed; accelerate the implementation of research projects and tasks on the selection of traits (disease resistance, fillet ratio, product taste, protein and fat content in the product, salinity tolerance, etc.) according to market demand; apply vaccine technology, molecular genetics, etc., to improve the quality of pangasius seed.

In addition, it is encouraged to build a value chain from the supply of seed, commercial pangasius farming to processing and export; reduce production costs to increase competitiveness; take responsibility for monitoring and tracking the production process; build an electronic traceability system for the export chain – processing plant – breeding facility – pond that has been assigned a code to ensure transparency of information. Companies continue to research and develop deep-processed products, value-added products, diversify products according to different market segments, with particular attention to ready-to-eat products, etc., to increase the value of pangasius.

In addition to expanding export markets, implementing the regulations on certification for pangasius products according to the requirements of Islamic countries (Halal), pangasius production and processing companies need to pay attention to expanding the domestic market, targeting collective kitchens in industrial parks, schools, and expanding the market.

Deputy Minister Phùng Đức Tiến requested the units under MARD and industry associations to proactively and promptly coordinate with the competent authorities of importing countries and relevant units to handle technical barriers; continue to pay attention to, connect, and develop markets for pangasius products, especially the Islamic market bloc and the Chinese market; regularly update information on market requirements and developments, promptly provide advice and share information with relevant units, and promptly resolve difficulties and support pangasius processing and exporting businesses in the coming time.

Accoding to MARD


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