Tra fish exports expected to beat target

July, 08/2022 - 08:00
The Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep) was optimistic about the tra fish export this year with the strong recovery of demand of import markets.

Tra fish is being processed for export. Tra fish export might reach $2.6 billion this year, to beat the target of $1.6 billion set at the beginning of the year. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh

HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep) is optimistic about tra fish exports this year with a substantial demand recovery in import markets.

The association predicted that tra fish export would beat the target of US$1.6 billion set at the beginning of this year to finish at $2.6 billion.

Tra fish processing plants were at full capacity in the first half of this year for export orders, Vasep said, adding that the export value reached more than $1.4 billion in the first six months of this year, representing a rise of 83 per cent against the same period last year.

Inflation and the Russia - Ukraine conflict provided the opportunity for Việt Nam to expand tra fish export to the EU, the US and the UK markets which faced with severe shortages of white fish due to sanctions on Russia.

Tra fish export to the UK jumped by six times over the same period last year while to Spain nearly tripled. Other markets which saw fast growths included mainland China, Hong Kong (by 124 per cent ), the US (by 131 per cent) and France, Holland, Germany and Belgium by around 45-90 per cent.

Việt Nam’s tra fish has been exported to 117 markets, including five new markets since the first quarter of 2021.

In mid-May, the Food Safety and Inspection Service under the US Department of Agriculture recognised six more Vietnamese tra fish processing factories to be eligible for exporting their products to the US market, bringing the total number of eligibility-recognised factories to 19.

Tra fish export to the US remained promising, Vasep said, citing statistics of the International Trade Centre that frozen tra fish prices of Việt Nam in the US hit a new record of nearly $5 per kg, about $2 higher than the same period last year. This was also the strongest increase in the past three years.

As for Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) markets, tra fish exports to Mexico, Canada, Australia, and Japan were robust in the first six months of this year, reaching $170 million, up by 64 per cent against the same period last year.

According to Trương Thị Lê Khanh, chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Vĩnh Hoàn Joint Stock Company, with the rising demand for tra fish in the US, Europe and China together with the COVID-19 pandemic now under control and the shortage of supply, 2022 would be “very magical” for the tra fish industry with all factories to be profitable.

Tra fish prices would keep increasing till the end of this year, bringing profits to tra fish producers and exporters, although costs such as feed and logistics increased.

A recent report by BIDV Securities Company (BSC) said that Việt Nam’s tra fish industry was entering a growth period after two years of a downtrend due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions of the supply chain in 2020-21.

Tra fish import demand would increase significantly until the end of the year, after a long time pressed by the pandemic, BSC said.

BSC said that the US demand for tra fish would increase strongly as the US faced a shortage of domestic catfish supply, which had been the impetus for Việt Nam’s tra fish export from the end of 2021.

As for the Chinese market, BSC believed that China would gradually reopen with a huge consumption demand which had been pent-up during the past two years as the impact of the pandemic, China would be an important market for tra fish export expansion.

Tra fish export was estimated at $1.54 billion in 2021. — VNS

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