VCN - Pangasius exports to the US in August continued to decline sharply, making this key product into the US market more difficult.
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According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, as of the first half of August, the export value of pangasius to the US market reached 175.9 million USD, down 38.7 percent over the same period last year. Thus, for nearly seven months, pangasius exports to the US market decreased sharply.
According to US Department of Commerce statistics, in five months of 2019, US catfish imports decreased in all supplies, from Vietnam, China, Thailand and Guyana. But it imported more pangasius from two new supplies compared to the previous quarter as Spain and Taiwan. Notably, Vietnam still took 91.6 - 96 percent of total US imports of pangasius.
According to the International Trade Center (ITC), the US imported 417 million USD of frozen tilapia fillets from China in 2018. However, from May 10, 2019, the US raised the tax rate for seafood products imported from China from 10 percent to 25 percent, the shock of Chinese tilapia export has slowed down.
This is also the biggest competitive product with Vietnam pangasius in the US market. According to US Department of Commerce statistics, by the end of June 2019, China's frozen tilapia imports from China decreased by 13 percent in volume and 16 percent in value over the same period last year. Frozen tilapia imports from China have also decreased by 28 percent in volume and 27 percent in value over the same period in 2018.
However, completely different from VASEP's prediction, businesses hope the decrease of Chinese tilapia market share in the US will create opportunities for Vietnam pangasius in US market. But in the second quarter of 2019, Vietnam's pangasius exports to the US also dropped sharply by nearly 42 percent over the same period last year.
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Moreover, according to ITC statistics, in five months of this year, the US reduced imports of white meat fish, not only Chinese tilapia but also pangasius products from Vietnam. In contrast, US increased imports of white meat fish from Norway, Iceland, Canada, Chile and Russia.
In the second quarter of 2019, Vietnamese pangasius enterprises exported mainly frozen fish fillet and catfish products to the US with diversified prices from 1.01 - 5.54 USD / kg.
With the current export situation, it is predicted that in the last two quarters of 2019, pangasius export to the US market will likely continue to decline. Trade and technical barriers continue to hinder Vietnamese businesses in US market.
By Le Thu/ Phuong Thao