VCN - Pangasius export turnover – one of the key export products – dropped significantly in the first seven months of 2019. Enterprises are expected to have a breakthrough in the last months of the year.
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According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), by the end of July 2019, the value of pangasius exports in five consecutive months (from March 2019) decreased compared to the same period last year. Therefore, the total value of pangasius exports in the first seven months of this year decreased by 5.5%, reaching US$1.13 billion. Particularly, in July 2019, pangasius export value decreased by 12.7% compared to the same period last year. Most likely, in the coming months, export firms will find it difficult to escape the long-lasting negative growth.
In July 2019, pangasius export value to the US reached US$25.6 million, down 56.2% over the same period last year. By the end of July 2019, the total value reached US$167.6 million, down 34.3% compared to the same period in 2018. However, the US still ranked 2nd in the export markets of Vietnam’s pangasius. But from now until the end of 2019, pangasius export to this market will continue to decline. Many technical and commercial barriers in this market are being erected for many sources of white fish, including China and Vietnam.
Pangasius exporters will still try to boost exports to some other potential markets, notably Bahrain and Qatar. In the first half of this year, pangasius export value to these two markets increased strongly. Exports to Bahrain increased 209.8% to US$14.9 million and to Qatar increased 109.8% to US$2.26 million. In addition, exports to Kuwait also increased by 13.3%.
In the top 10 largest pangasius export markets of Vietnam, ASEAN and the Middle East are the two considered to be important and noteworthy.
However, up until now, the Saudi market has not been reopened, which is a big disadvantage for Vietnam’s pangasius export enterprises. This market also builds trade barriers for Vietnamese pangasius when increasing the standard of ‘Halal breeding program’ when applied to both animal feed products and breeding facilities, not only for imported products. Currently, pangasius exporting enterprises are still waiting for positive moves from Saudi Arabia to resume export activities.
Impact from many sides
Due to the impact from many sides, Vietnam's pangasius exports to some markets has seen sudden growth. In particular, in the first seven months of 2019, the total value of pangasius exports to China-Hong Kong reached US$320 million, up 10.4% over the same period in 2018. In particular, in July 2019, export value to this market increased unexpectedly by 71.1% compared to the same period last year, even though the value of pangasius exports to Hong Kong decreased by 19.1%.
The US-China trade war has caused Chinese export goods to circulate slowly. China's move to devalue the yuan to boost exports and reduce imports also reduced the amount of goods entering this market. Export of Vietnamese pangasius after many years of positive growth had three months of export value decreasing.
Moreover, the plan of ‘localization’ of Chinese pangasius is also being encouraged and invested by the government. Maybe in the second half of this year, exporting Vietnamese pangasius to China - Hong Kong will grow but not reach the expected level.
With the impact of the EVFTA agreement, forecasted in the third quarter of 2019, pangasius exports to the EU continue to maintain the growth rate equivalent to the first two quarters of the year. There is an advantage with Vietnamese pangasius in the EU that after EVFTA comes into effect, pangasius export will have more opportunities to push into this market.
With two major pangasius products, fresh and chilled pangasius (HS 030432), the tax will be reduced from 9% to 0% after 3 years; frozen pangasius fillets (HS 030462) will decrease from 5.5% to 0% after 3 years. Products of frozen pangasius (HS 030324) are eliminated in 3 years from the current level of 8%.
Germany is one of the high-priced pangasius import markets in the EU. Currently, there are about 15 enterprises exporting pangasius to the German market, most of which are concentrated in the two provinces of Dong Thap and Can Tho. Frozen pangasius is an export product that accounts for more than 90% of pangasius exports to Germany.
In July 2019, the export value of pangasius to the UK market began to decline and slowed markedly. This is a market that is considered to have great potential in this area with good prices and high quality pangasius products. As of the end of July 2019, the value of pangasius exports to the UK – the second largest market in the EU –reached US$33.3 million, up 36.3%. In July 2019 alone, the value decreased by 10% compared to with the same period last year. Pangasius exports to Germany and Belgium in the first seven months of this year grew well, up 39.6% and 32.5% over the same period in 2018, respectively, thanks to positive export growth value in some single markets. Therefore, the total value of pangasius exports to EU in the first seven months reached US$156.7 million, up 12.6%.
In addition, in the first seven months of 2019, the value of exporting pangasius to ASEAN increased by 4.6%; Mexico increased by 13%; Japan increased 7.7% but exports to Brazil fell 25.4% and Colombia fell 18.6% compared to the same period last year. It is forecast that in the second half of the year, growth in these large potential markets will remain the same as the first half of the year.
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Pangasius material prices and catfish seed in the Mekong Delta continued to decline further due to the impact and adverse effects from the market. The export price also decreased, causing the export value to fall. Difficulties in export activities in many major markets around the world is the reason why the picture of exporting pangasius in the first seven months of 2019 has not shown any better signs and is likely to continue in the next quarter.
By Le Thu/ Huu Tuc