Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Vietnamese tra fish exporters should see Asia as an answer to difficulties they are facing in markets like the US and the EU, experts and officials say.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has estimated a 10 per cent increase in tra fish export value this year to US$1.7 billion.
It has also said that China could overtake the US as the largest buyer of tra fish from Việt Nam.
The ministry has also responded to the problems exporters are having with leading markets like the US and the EU by advising them to focus on exploring Asian markets and tapping better the domestic market potential.
The Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said that export of tra fish to the US and the European Union would continue to face difficulties, including competition with other kinds of fish in the EU market, anti-dumping duties and more stringent inspections of Vietnamese tra fish by US agencies.
An article in the Thời báo Kinh tế Việt Nam (vneconomy) paper yesterday cited experts as saying local firms should pay more attention to the three-billion-population strong Asian market, including China and ASEAN.
Local firms would find it easier to export to China, where Vietnamese tra fish products met required food standards and fetched reasonable prices, it said.
VASEP has estimated that tra fish exports to China will account for 20 per cent of the total this year. However, it has cautioned exporters to focus more on ensuring high-quality products rather than boosting export volumes.
The importance of quality was also stressed by Dương Ngọc Minh, chairman and general director of Hùng Vương JSC. He said tra fish exports to China and Hong Kong could surge by almost 30 per cent, year-on-year, but added firms should closely control the quality of their tra fish products to avoid trade barriers.
Like the agriculture ministry, Minh also urged local enterprises to explore the domestic market further by selling tra fish products through the supermarket system.
VASEP general secretary Trương Đình Hòe said the most important thing at present was the availability of tra fish needed for export processing. In the last quarter of 2016, tra fish processing plants had reduced their capacity by 30 per cent over the previous quarter because of a drop in output. This happened at a tine when demand had decreased by 40 per cent.
At present, tra fish prices have increased by VNĐ1,000 per kg against the previous month and VNĐ2,000-3,000 per kg year-on-year.
The agriculture ministry said last month’s output of tra fish fell by 4.8 per cent year-on-year to 71,400 tonnes against the same period last year.
VASEP’s Hòe said Việt Nam has 100 tra fish processors and exporters, with 20 of them accounting for 70-80 per cent of local production. Local processors and exporters should find solutions to ensure that there is sufficient supply of tra fish to meet market demand. — VNS