Vietnam’s pangasius export value to three markets of China – Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK in April 2020 grew positively by 20.1%; 127.6%, and 20.3%, respectively. By the end of April 2020, the total export value of pangasius reached US$449.5 million, down nearly 27% over the same period in 2019. Most of the major importers (among the top 10 largest importers of Vietnamese pangasius) all slid. On the contrary, exports to Singapore rose by 12.7% and that to the UK lifted by 1.1% over the same period in 2019.
China – Hongkong: Since the end of February and early March 2020, pangasius export to this market has just started to recover and grow again after Chinese processing factories returned to work. By the end of April 2020, the total export value of pangasius to the China – Hong Kong market reached US$111.1 million, down 20.2% compared to the same period in 2019. Particularly the export value to the Hong Kong market down 24.6% over the same period in 2019. Thus, up to this point, China – Hong Kong was still the largest importer of Vietnam pangasius enterprises, accounting for 24.7% of the total export value.
Until March and April 2020, although Chinese customers have begun to import again, mainly to stockpile because the enterprises of these countries worry that they will not be able to import more goods if Vietnam carries out the social isolation for an indefinite period. Moreover, after reopening post-COVID-19 production, Chinese people are still worried about eating outside or many restaurants still are closed after the pandemic, consumption at this channel is slow because buyers mainly buy via online system or supermarket. Some Chinese customers also offered to reduce the purchase price.
The US: After increasing by 26.4% compared to the same period of 2019 in March, in April 2020, the export value of pangasius to this market decreased by 20.7% compared to the same period in 2019. So far, the US has been the most hard-hit country in the world by COVID-19, its production activities face many difficulties. Food and aquatic product processing factories are facing labor difficulties. Therefore, pangasius export to the US in April 2020 slumped again. By the end of April 2020, pangasius export value to the US market reached 74.6%, down 14.6% over the same period in 2019.
ASEAN: By the end of April 2020, pangasius export to ASEAN reached US $53 million, down 24.4% compared to the same period in 2019. Thus, up to this point, ASEAN has been the third-largest importer of Vietnam pangasius (after China – Hong Kong and the US), accounting for 11.8% of total pangasius export value. Notably, in April 2020, pangasius exports to ASEAN declined, of which, exports to the largest importer in the region, Thailand also fell by nearly 30%; exports to Malaysia dived by 31% but the export value to Singapore spiked by 127, 6% over the same period in 2019. By the end of April 2020, pangasius exports to Singapore also rose by 12.7% compared to the same period in 2019. This was the market with the largest positive growth rate among the top 10 largest importers of Vietnam.
EU: After China, the EU was the second market heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in major importing markets in the bloc such as Italy, Spain, and the UK … Lockdown measures in some countries such as Italy caused a sharp decline in seafood consumption demand because business activities of restaurants, hotels, and schools were closed. The stagnant of business activities caused seafood distributors to reduce prices, affecting the price of imported seafood. Therefore, in the first 4 months of 2020, pangasius exports to the EU faced many difficulties. By the end of April 2020, the export value of pangasius to this market reached US $48.3 million, down 36%, of which, exports to the three largest importers in the bloc: Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium all decreased, respectively: 29%; 31% and 38.8%.
With the complicated situation of COVID-19 pandemic in major export markets such as the US, EU, Brazil …, it is difficult for pangasius exports in Q2 to escape negative growth. In the 3rd quarter, if the pandemic situation in some epidemic central countries is controlled, production and business activities reopened, the pangasius export will have a chance to recover.