In 2023 pangasius exports grow in difficulties


VCN – Pangasius is one of the two main export products of Vietnam which has conquered more than 140 markets around the world and is forecasted to have great growth potential in the current difficult export context.

Processing pangasius for export. Photo: L.T
Processing pangasius for export. Photo: L.T

The “renaissance” period of the pangasius industry

As a unique white fish species of Vietnam, pangasius is increasingly loved by consumers in the world market because of its convenience, neutral structure and taste, easy processing and compatible price for all consumer segments.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), 2022 is the “revival” period of the pangasius industry. Vietnam’s pangasius exports have made a strong breakthrough with a record of 2.4 billion USD. After the pandemic’s peak, inventories remained high, production and processing recovered, and demand increased. As a result, Pangasius export prices to other markets increased by 20-55%, especially in the U.S. market. In addition, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused the supply of white fish in many markets to decrease, creating opportunities for pangasius to increase its market share. Currently, Vietnamese pangasius has conquered more than 140 markets worldwide, including traditional markets that are strict about food safety and technical regulations such as the U.S., E.U. and markets that do not love farmed fish like Japan. However, inflation is currently causing a reduction in the demand for seafood in the world market. Pangasius exports are also partly affected. Inventories are still high, so importers reduce or stop new orders in the last months of the year and may extend to the beginning of 2023. But with the advantage of stable supply and suitable prices, pangasius exports will remain more stable than other industries and are forecast to make a strong breakthrough when the market stabilizes again.

VASEP forecasts that the supply of white fish in 2023 will decrease and the price of white fish will increase sharply, but Vietnamese pangasius still sees an optimistic opportunity. As inflation seeps into the world economies, especially G7 markets, consumers have been and will continue to tighten spending on high-priced food items. Therefore, although consumption and food demand are more or less affected, compared to other seafood products, next year, pangasius consumption and imports into markets may not be significantly reduced.

Focus on export quality

Currently, the processing and export of pangasius have been significantly improved, and the quality control of exports is increasingly strict. Most pangasius processing and exporting enterprises apply international food safety and quality management programs, such as HACCP, BRC, Global Gap, IFS, ASC and BAP certificates according to the requirements of each market. As an area with many pangasius production and processing enterprises, Dong Thap currently has 22 processing enterprises for export, with a total design capacity of more than 467 tons of finished products per year. To ensure the requirements for export goods, businesses focus on the source of processing materials and production processes. Production areas have been granted 378 identification codes for commercial catfish ponds with an area of 1,509 hectares, produced according to VietGap, Global Gap, and ASC standards, equivalent to 827 hectares, accounting for over 55% of the farming area.

According to Mr Tran Dinh Luan, General Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, currently, the field of seafood processing and export of Vietnamese enterprises has a certain position in the international market, so enterprises need to change direction to dominate the share of high-end market share to increase profit margins for processed products. The major seafood import markets require strict quality control and traceability. Rival seafood exporting countries are also constantly expanding production scale and reducing product costs. Particularly for pangasius, India, China, Indonesia and some countries have been investing heavily in production, which will break Vietnam’s monopoly soon. This shows that Vietnamese enterprises cannot continue to compete at low prices but must move one step higher in the value chain. Therefore, 2023 is when businesses self-restructure, manage inventory and invest better.

Mr Huynh Minh Tuan, Vice Chairman of Dong Thap Provincial People’s Committee, said that to overcome limitations and bring pangasius production and processing into the supply chain, the province is focusing on restructuring, with the orientation of comprehensively developing the field of seed production and pangasius farming in the direction of building a chain of links from seed production, commercial farming, processing to product consumption; step by step towards large-scale, modern commodity production. Along with that, to encourage processing enterprises to upgrade and renew pangasius processing lines to increase high value-added products from the rest of pangasius after fillet, and encourage the use of the Q.R. code system for product traceability.

Pangasius exports go for a good price Pangasius exports go for a good price

VCN – Pangasius prices have increased sharply, consumption demand in many countries has been positive and orders …

Although it will be difficult to maintain the growth rate in 2022, with the initiative of businesses, experts predict that pangasius exports will have many growth opportunities this year.

By Le Thu/ Phuong Linh


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