|Processing tra fish for export at a Sao Mai Group factory in the southern province of An Giang. Tra fish exports are projected to surge by 97 per cent year-on-year in the first five months of 2022, reaching US$1.1 billion. VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh|
HÀ NỘI — Demand for Việt Nam’s tra fish (pangasius) is up in major markets, driving the export of the catfish overseas, reports the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
Tra fish exports are projected to surge by a whopping 97 per cent year-on-year in the first five months of 2022, reaching US$1.1 billion.
Besides exporting to traditional markets such as the US and Europe, seafood exporters have expanded markets to take advantage of the new demand. Specifically, Việt Nam has targetted new fish markets in Mexico, Egypt and Thailand.
VASEP expert Tạ Hà said that the Mexican market has the largest export value in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade bloc.
Tra fish sales to Mexico topped $50 million in the first five months of this year, an increase of 70 per cent against last year’s figure.
Shipments to Thailand hit nearly $50 million during the period, a year-on-year spike of 80 per cent. Việt Nam exported over $15 million worth of tra fish to Egypt, up 85 per cent year-on-year.
These are positive signs that tra fish is a favoured seafood product in these fresh new markets.
VASEP reports that the new Thailand market is advantageous in terms of geographical distance. The growing demand for tra fish imports has attracted many Vietnamese businesses to this Southeast Asia country. There are as many as 60 enterprises currently shipping tra fish to the Thai market.
The US remains one of the key markets of Vietnamese tra fish. It recently licensed six more Vietnamese pangasius processing factories to export to the market.
Tra fish exports to the US were estimated to hit $243 million in the first five months of this year, up 130 per cent from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, two more Vietnamese enterprises have been permitted to export seafood products to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) by Russia's Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (FSVPS).
However, experts said that even though these moves will promote export growth, it is necessary for enterprises to source enough tra fish for production.
Lê Thanh Thuấn, Chairman of the Board of Directors of IDI International Development and Investment Corporation, said strong recovery of consumer demand has made it difficult for manufacturers to fill orders in recent months. They are operating at full capacity to meet the sharp increase in orders.
Currently, the corporation has full orders until the end of the second quarter, he said, adding that it has begun stockpiling fish for the revival of such big markets as Mexico and Brazil. — VNS