China overtakes the US as the largest import market for catfish from Vietnam

According to Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), seafood exports in March 2018 increased by 16% to $US 279 million. The total export value in 3 months of 2018 reached more than $US 719 million, an increase of 16% over the same period. Accordingly, China surpasses the US as the largest importer from Vietnam.

china overtakes the us as the largest import market for catfish from vietnam
Catfish processing.

Exports of catfish in March 2018 were estimated at $US 165 million, an increase of 16%. The total export value of catfish in the first three months was nearly $US 430 million, an increase of nearly 16% over the same period. The increase in quantity and the price of catfish has led to a steady increase in catfish export during the first months of the year.

Although the exports to the EU have decreased sharply and exports to the US are in difficulty due to the catfish inspection program and the high anti-dumping tax pressure, but exports to other markets have increased sharply. Exports to China increased by 42% and this market surpassed the US to become the largest importer of catfish from Vietnam. However, the export of catfish to China is a potential concern for the industry both across the sea and road. Because the quality control is not synchronized, the export price through these two methods are different, leading to unfair competition and destabilizing the source of exports.

The export of seafood also increased, except for bivalve mollusks with a decrease of 10%. In particular, tuna exports increased by 22% to $US 148 million in the first quarter of 2018, octopus exports increased by 19% to $US 157 million. Other marine fish exports increased by 19% to nearly $US 310 million. In the first quarter, businesses are taking advantage of increasing exports to markets, especially the EU market, before the expiry of 6-month IUU yellow card on 23 April 2018.

Although production of raw materials this year is more favorable than last year, seafood exports in the next quarter of 2018 will face some market difficulty such as high anti-dumping tax. The tax of $US 3.87 per kg in POR13 for Vietnamese catfish makes the number of catfish export companies decrease sharply. In addition, the inspection program of catfish and yellow card may continue to affect the seafood export of Vietnam in the coming time.

However, Vietnamese companies can boost exports if they take advantage of the free trade agreements with the EU (taking effect from June 2018) and with Korea, while expanding and transferring to other potential markets.

In order to facilitate catfish exports, on 20 March 2018, VASEP sent a letter requesting the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to review and direct the implementation of standard quality management through issuance and inspection certificate of quality for catfish before exporting to China by road for 3 months until the resources are abundant again.

By Le Thu/ Hoang Anh

Customs News