Tra fish exports forecast at $1.67b this year

20-Dec-2016 Intellasia | The Saigon Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Exports of tra (pangasius) fish this year are forecast to rise 6.6 percent year-on-year to $1.67 billion, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

As of November 15, pangasius fish had been shipped to 140 markets, four higher than in the same period last year, with total revenue of $1.5 billion, the ministry said in a report released at a seminar in An Giang Province Wednesday on the nation’s 2016 tra fish export performance and on solutions for sustainable development in the future.

Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said agricultural production in the Mekong Delta, including pangasius farming, was hard hit by climate change earlier this year but high rainfalls since June and effective business methods had helped the fish farming sector quickly recover.

This year has also seen a significant shift in export markets as exports to the European Union (EU) have dipped but those to the US and China have shot up, he said.

Revenue from tra exports to China, including Hong Kong, this year is predicted to surge 90 percent year-on-year to $305 million this year, making it the fastest growing market for Vietnamese pangasius.

Duong Ngoc Minh, chair and general director of Hung Vuong Seafood Joint Stock Co., said tra exports next year would continue growing strongly, especially to China (Hong Kong included).

Tra shipments to the northern neighbour might rise 30 percent next year, Minh forecast, adding that this is a sustainable growth market with requirements almost as stringent as those of the EU. “If Vietnamese tra fish exporters accept payments in Chinese currency, they will be able to send more fish to this northern country.”

Doan Toi, chair of Nam Viet Joint Stock Company, said China imports large volumes of tra only because of the low price of the fish. “Fish exports to China will absolutely surpass $400 million,” he said.

Tra exports to China next year will make up around one-fifth of Vietnam’s total, said Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Sales of tra fish to the US, currently the biggest importer of the Vietnamese fish accounting for 22 percent of the total, are projected to rise 16 percent year-on-year to $366 million this year.

But Toi said the country might face a decline in fish exports to the US in the coming years due to US President-elect Donald Trump’s protectionist view on trade policy.

As for the EU, Vietnam may earn $260 million this year, down 9 percent year-on-year, marking the third straight year that tra exports to the EU have remained flat or tumbled.

The agriculture ministry’s report also shows that the Mekong Delta had 4,552 hectares under tra fish farming in the January-November period, up 3.1 percent year-on-year, and obtained total output of more than one million tonnes, up 8.9 percent.$167 billion-this-year.html


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