Big Chinese, US sales make for another strong month for Vietnam pangasius exports

Vietnam’s exports of pangasius werer up quite strongly again in April 2024 after March’s lift, with China and the US really driving sales; but the average price to all markets was flat.

For April, exports volumes of pangasius products were up 21% month-on-month and up 37% year-on-year at 77,325 metric tons.

“Except for the EU (-2%), other markets saw an increase in import volume, including Brazil (+58%), Mexico (+40%), China and Hong Kong (+33%), the US (+32%), the UK (+4%) and ASEAN (+4%)”, according to a consultancy commissioned by Undercurrent News to gather and analyze customs data.

“The sharp increase in exports compared to the same period last year was monthly contributed by the remarkable rise in exports to the US (+84%). Nevertheless, according to Agromonitor, with recent trends, the US market tends to reduce import volumes after two-three months of strong increases.”

China and Hong Kong’s imports of Vietnamese pangasius were back at healthy levels relative to the last few years in April, up m-o-m at 24,327t.

It remains the largest market, but export prices to this market have been sliding since November from a longer-term view, since the fall of 2022. In April 2024 they followed March’s upstick with a 6.4% decline to $1.89/kg.

The US also continues to look brighter after a tough 2023, with volumes and average prices up each month.

April saw volumes reach 13.415t–the highest in two years– while prices also rose 2.4% to $2.90/kg.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Processors and Exporters (VASEP) noted the US market is considering recognizing Vietnam as a market economy, with the US Department of Commerce hearing testimony on May 8 on the topic. Conclusion are exported in July.

VASEP believes this could be a great advantage for Vietnamese businesses, especially in administrative reviews of anti-dumping taxes on shrimp and pangasius and anti-subsidy investigations. In addition, other barriers and regulations may also be reviewed in a more relaxed and favorable manner.

Exports to the EU were stable in April at 6,695t, while prices lifter 4.3% to $2.55/kg—their highest since September 2023.

VASEP said pangasius exports to the EU reached almost $9m in April alone, down 14% y-o-y. Some companies may be trying to increase their shares of value-added products, but frozen fillets made up 95% of sales to the EU in the first quarter of 2024.

After a good increase in import volumes in March, ASEAN markets were stable in April at 8.354t. The average price eased 2.1% to $1.88/kg.

Mexico’s imports rose again in April to 2,047t, up y-o-y and m-o-m. After a drop in prices the prior month, April saw them rise 7.4% to $2.30/kg.

Exports prices to the UK had been steady at more than $3.00/kg over the winter, but March saw a dive, andd that was followed in April by a decline of 4.4% to $2.62/kg. Volumes were flat at 1,291t, also stable y-o-y.

The Brazilian market has long made grim reading for Vietnamese exporters, but April brought a second consecutive price rise of 0.7% to $2.73/kg, and a lift in volumes to 2,736t. That’s almost double April 2023’s volumes.

VASEP noted in April that pangasius exports to Canada reached $2.3 million in the first half of March alone, up 7% y-o-y. As of March 15, it had imported over $8m worth in 2024, up 43% y-o-y.

Source: UCN

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