Pangasius processing. (Photo: VASEP)
2012 tra exports as high as in 2011
Thursday, January 03, 2013, 04:40 (GMT + 9)
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has predicted that the total pangasius or tra fish export turnover for 2012 will be USD 1.8 billion – just like in 2011.
“This figure reflects the efforts of farmers and enterprises to surmount difficulties,” said Nguyen Huy Dien, deputy director general of the General Directorate of Fisheries.
In the first 11 months of 2012, Vietnamese catfish exports took a 2.4 per cent-dive year-on-year to USD 1.6 billion.
This prediction stands despite the global economic crisis and the consequent drop in exports to five ot the eight major tra markets -- such as the European Union (EU), Mexico, Brasil, Saudi Arabia and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries -- both of which have left Vietnamese pangasius producers struggling to stay afloat. Exports to the US, Colombia and China-Hong Kong have shown unstable growth, VietNamNet Bridge reports.
Pangasius exports to the US rose bit by bit until August, after which they decreased by 7.5 per cent in September and 20 per cent in October and November. Exports to the EU in November continued to fall for the eighth consecutive month, earning USD 29.8 million, down 11.8 per cent year-on-year.
Raw pangasius prices started vacillating in early 2012, mainly falling, and diving farmers gave up the business or switch to other species. Meanwhile, processors and exporters must handle tra shortages and financial burdens, problems which have caused the closing of some processing factories.
But 2012 also brought good news.
The Trade Office of the Vietnamese Embassy in Sweden has announced that Sweden, Denmark and Finland have classified Vietnamese tra as a green product, entering it into the green list of the Handbook for Seafood Consumption. The handbook lists seafood items considered healthful and which are recommended by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Also, 10 per cent of tra products received Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certificates, allowing the product to meet the requirements of markets like the EU and the US.
Further, on 31 August, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) set the antidumping rate for Vietnamese tra at zero for both mandatory and voluntary respondents, while the wide rate is USD 2.11 per kg, the lowest level among all past administrative reviews.
Moreover, Vietnamese catfish jumped ahead from the ninth to the sixth place in the US list of top 10 popular seafood products organised by the US National Fisheries Institute (NFI).
- Tra exporters continue to struggle despite upbeat sales
By Natalia Real