The deadly coronavirus pandemic has subsided and been brought under control in China and Korea, leaving an expectation in growing demand in seafood products, especially shrimp and pangasius, after production activities officially come back to normal as before the pandemic.
China has decided to open its border gates, paving great opportunities for Vietnamese pangasius, especially companies that already have buyers.
Vietnamese pangasius exports to China and Hongkong have been kicked off since Feb 2020 regardless of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In the first half of Mar 2020, pangasius export value to China reached nearly $13 million, up $1 million from last month.
If exports rise at expected speed, some pangasius companies confidently predict that pangasius export value to China may rise by 40-50% in the next few months. Prices of pangasius material in the Mekong Delta starts to stabilize even though they are quite low, around 18,000 dong/kg. Some big markets are forecasted to thrive in Apr 2020.
However, there is a large amount of unsold pangasius in deed. Sales to China may rise again in May or June at the earliest. The coronavirus is spreading to Japan, Europe and the US, that are the core markets of Vietnamese pangasius. Thus, the sector has been facing difficulties, leaving an estimated export value in Mar 2020 of $549 million, down nearly 20% from last year.
Thus, Vietnam’s seafood exports are forecasted to fall in the face of the overwhelming pandemic in the country and the world.
As for companies, sustaining the money flow is quite a challenge in the face of prolonged decrease in earnings, even though they were already approved for interest slackening and tax reduction. Doãn Chí Thiên, Member of the BOD of Navico said “China is opening the border gates, but we have a large amount of unsold stock. Thus we can’t affirm that exports can rise again immediately as before. While the EU and US close the economy due to the pandemic, we are fighting every day to increase our purchase and sales and cut production cost”.
China is recovering and opening border gates, leaving a good sign for Vietnam’s fisheries industry. However, challenges continue when the pandemic is overwhelming in worldwide countries. According to surveys by companies, 30-50% of orders are fulfilled as contracted, 20-40% of orders are postponed and 20-30% are cancelled.