Pangasius fillet. (Photo: Stock File)
Galicia, the community that imported more pangasius in 2016
Friday, February 17, 2017, 23:30 (GMT + 9)
Galicia was the autonomous community that imported more pangasius last year, buying 6,829 tonnes of the 21,102 tonnes that entered Spain, which represents 32 per cent of the total.
The Valencian Community, which bought 4,352 tonnes, and Catalonia, with 2,544, complete the national ranking. Between the three they make up 65 per cent of the commercial operations with this fish.
Purchases of pangasius from the community increased by 10 per cent compared to 2015, when Galicia was the second largest buyer in Spain, with 6,197 tonnes and only surpassed by the Valencian Community, with 7,496, according to the statistical database of Spanish foreign trade, DataComex, prepared by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.
Galicia, which has the largest fishing fleet in Spain, imported in the six years that the database collects information a total of 58,151 tonnes, with large variations between 2010 and 2016.
The year with the greatest arrival of products was 2010, reaching 10,262 tonnes, 33 per cent more than the previous year.
In 2016 and 2015 are the years in which the least import is registered, in none of the cases reaching 7,000 tonnes.
The low price of pangasius, coupled with the situation of economic crisis that the country has experienced, appear to be two determinants for a large quantity of this fish between 2010 and 2014.
The coastal zones of Spain are the ones that more imports of this fish carry out with the Valencian Community at the head (except for 2016, when it acquired 4,352 tonnes). This community, together with Galicia, Catalonia, Andalusia (1,938) and the Canary Islands (1,037) last year imported 16,700 tonnes, almost 80 per cent of the total.
Madrid, with 2,022 tonnes, is the interior area where more pangasius was acquired and almost doubled the amount of 2015 (1,178 tonnes).
The president of the Galician Federation of Fishermen Guilds, Tomas Fajardo, pointed out that in Galicia there are fresh products with quality certification and for an economic value similar to that of pangasius, so it is unnecessary to resort to fish from Vietnam to supply the market within the price at which it is marketed.
The leader stressed, that the fish it is cheap, and that is one of the most attractive factors for the buyer.
The controversy surrounding the consumption of pangasius revived after the announcement of Carrefour to stop selling this product for environmental reasons.
The fish is grown in contaminated rivers of Vietnam, so its health is questioned from different sectors and areas, such as education and health.
Pangasius is a fish that is commercialized mainly in frozen fillets, and fresh.
Galicia imported 40 tonnes of this fish refrigerated in 2014, representing a minimum percentage (only 1.3 per cent) of the 9,286 that arrived in total. In 2013, there was a similar situation when 21 tonnes of 8,156 arrived as fresh fish, only 0.25 per cent.
Imports of frozen pangasius without being filleted are negligible, La Opinion Coruña reported.
In 2016, Galicia invested EUR 15.6 million to buy this fish in frozen fillets, 5.7 per cent more than in the previous year (EUR 14.8 million).
The situation in the Spanish global calculation was the opposite. Imports of pangasius accounted for EUR 41.8 million in 2016, compared to EUR 52.6 million in the previous year, implying a 20 per cent decrease, a percentage that also represents a tonne reduction in purchase.
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