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Why are pangasius exports to the EU still struggling?

02/07/2021    37

Pangasius exports in the first months of 2021 grew quite well, but exports to the EU market decreased. In the last three years, the value of pangasius exports to the EU has not been able to escape dismal negative growth.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in the first months of 2021, pangasius exports of Vietnamese enterprises are recovering better than expected, with an increase of 26% to reach US$134 million in May, after increasing by US$25.8 million to reach US$145 million in April. In general, export turnover of pangasius in the first 5 months reached US$623 million, up 12%.

According to the analysis of VASEP, pangasius exports recovered thanks to the main markets of the US, China, and Europe, which increased their purchases. In particular, the US market had the strongest increase thanks to the widely used Covid-19 vaccine, and importers increased their purchases to serve the reopening of food services. Pangasius exports to the US market in May 2021 made a breakthrough with an increase of about 200%, reaching US$33 million, bringing the export results of the first 5 months of 2021 to US$135 million, up 57% over the same period in 2020.

Contrary to the general situation, pangasius exports to the EU market continued to decrease. In the last three years, the export value of pangasius to the EU has not been able to escape negative growth.

The total value of pangasius exports to the EU market reached US$39.4 million in the first half of May 2021, down 26.2% over the same period last year. Of which, the export value to the Netherlands decreased by 21.7%; Spain down 33%; Germany fell 50.8% and Belgium fell 38.2% over the same period last year.

VASEP said that according to sources from some major EU importers, in 2020, the EU seafood market will be strongly affected by Covid-19, the distancing measures in Italy, France, Germany will have an impact on the circulation of goods inside and outside the bloc. In early 2021, the EU retail market increased sharply, increasing by 30% compared to the previous year. However, the food service industry (restaurants, hotels) is still very slow to recover.

In addition, FOB importers face difficulties due to high sea freight costs, pangasius prices in the EU remain stable, but many importers are still hesitant to purchase. In March 2021, the price of pangasius in Ho Chi Minh City was about US$2.2/kg and US$3.3/kg with high-grade, untreated fillets.

According to Ms. Ta Ha, VASEP's pangasius market specialist, most pangasius products are supplied through importers and wholesalers and eventually retail and food services across Europe. Specialized importers will import pangasius products by container ship (for frozen products) to Europe. They will sell pangasius directly to relevant market segments or add value to the pangasius product before bringing the product to market.

Currently, Bangladesh and China are two competitors of Vietnamese pangasius, although the volume of imports from these two markets still accounts for a small proportion, the import value is increasing.

Currently, the majority of pangasius products exported to the EU are frozen pangasius fillets. In particular, the Netherlands is the largest export market of Vietnamese pangasius, this is also the market for importing large value-added pangasius products.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, seafood businesses believe that the export progress of two key products, pangasius and shrimp, will depend mainly on market fluctuations. The widespread deployment of vaccinations in these markets helps people gradually feel secure and return to tourism, entertainment and public activities, so demand will recover as well as restaurants, hotels and services.

The US market will continue to be a bright spot for Vietnamese seafood, with an anticipated increase in demand for shrimp, pangasius, tuna and other seafood.

Currently, there are about 13 enterprises exporting pangasius to the Dutch market, of which the three largest exporters are NTSF; GLORY CORP and GLORY.

Source: Custom News