Pangasius export to E.U. and the U.S. are sharply declining. European importers will not pay more than rock-bottom prices for IQF pangasius fillets, and the U.S. market has become unstable and protectionist. Therefore, pangasius producers shift export to Asian countries and particularly to China.
According to VASEP, pangasius exports are expected to be worth USD 952 million (EUR 806 million) in the second half of 2017, a slight year-on-year increase of three percent.
However, the value of shipments to China is expected to grow by a massive 50 to 60%, while the U.S. and E.U. reduce their imports by 10 to 15% and five percent, respectively.
With the largest population in the world and an increasingly affluent one, China has already become a strong very lucrative market for Vietnamese seafood products. Demand for Vietnamese shrimp is rising rapidly and Chinese buyers are also on the lookout for value-added products manufactured from shrimp.
According to VASEP, the seafood export value to China soared from USD 152 million (EUR 129 million) in 2007 to USD 860 million (EUR 728 million) last year. Shrimp and pangasius saw the strongest increase and continue to have the potential for double-digit growth rate in the coming years. But the market also has risks because China could tighten hygiene, food safety, and quarantine regulations. Chinese consumers are increasingly looking at product quality, safety, and convenience. Brands are one of the key factors for them in choosing a product, and they are willing to pay 20 to 30% more for branded products.
Trương Tuyết Hoa of Vĩnh Hoàn Corporation, the market leader for pangasius abroad, said her company’s exports to China have increased sharply. Chinese importers have diverse demands in all segments, and her company focuses on processed products and products with high added value, she said.
Vĩnh Hoàn aims for pole position in every major export market in which it operates, Hoa said. The company has opened representative offices in Europe and America, and as soon the Chinese market looked to be opening up for pangasius exports, its whole management team went there to meet the largest seafood importers to set up a strategy for close cooperation.
In order to boost the expansion of international and regional markets for pangasius, particularly the Chinese market, the Pangasius and Vietnamese Seafood Product Exhibition take place for the first time from October 6 to 8 at the Agricultural Exhibition Center in Hanoi’s Cầu Giấy District. The organizers say the exhibition will be an opportunity for businesses, distributors, and consumers to popularize their images and brand names, promote consumption of pangasius and other fish products in the domestic market in general, and the northern market in particular. In addition, it is also a chance for businesses to expand, connecting distributors, supermarkets, and consumers inside and outside the country.