Vietnamese catfish exports dominate US market

Strong Growth in Tra Fish Exports

Vietnamese tra fish products have emerged as the dominant force in the US market during the period from January to April 2018, overcoming various trade barriers, as reported by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). The total export value of tra fish to the US market reached $108 million during this period, marking a significant year-on-year increase of 26 percent. This growth trend has remained consistently high compared to the same period last year.

Vietnamese catfish exports dominate US market

Expectations for Continued Growth

VASEP anticipates a slight increase in Vietnam’s tra fish export value to the US market in the second quarter of this year, compared to the corresponding period last year. However, it is worth noting that the number of tra fish exporters to the US market is likely to remain limited, with fewer than three enterprises currently involved. Currently, Vietnam and China are the only exporters of tra fish to the US market, with Vietnamese tra fish accounting for 90 percent of total imports in the country.

Shifting Dynamics and Market Prices

Previously, China primarily exported fresh and frozen tra and basa catfish to the US market. However, since 2017, China has increased its production of frozen catfish fillets, valued at approximately $37.2 million. Chinese catfish commands a relatively higher average price in the US market, reaching $6.77 per kilo, while Vietnamese catfish is priced at only $3.42 per kilo. The rising export volume of Vietnamese catfish to the US market has led to an increase in the cost of raw materials for tra fish in the domestic market. Consequently, the prices of catfish in all export markets, including the US, have witnessed an upward trend.

Trade Barriers and Impediments

Despite the strong growth and market dominance of Vietnamese tra fish in the US, local seafood enterprises have faced challenges due to anti-dumping duties and the catfish inspection program. These barriers have hindered their ability to fully capitalize on the export potential of catfish products to the US market. Nevertheless, Vietnamese tra fish exporters have been resilient in the face of these obstacles, demonstrating their competitiveness and determination to sustain their position in the US market.

In conclusion, Vietnamese tra fish has successfully established its dominance in the US market, surpassing trade barriers and achieving significant growth. With expectations of further expansion and despite the challenges posed by anti-dumping duties and inspection programs, Vietnamese exporters continue to demonstrate their resilience and commitment to supplying high-quality tra fish to meet the demands of the US market.

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