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Vietnamese catfish exports dominate US market

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese tra fish products has dominated the US market from January to April 2018 despite facing many trade barriers, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

It said from the first day of this year until the first half of April, the total tra fish export value to the US market reached US$108 million, a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent.

catfish exports

So far, this value has maintained a high growth compared to the same period last year.

The association expects Việt Nam’s tra fish export value to the US market to slightly increase in the second quarter of this year against the same period last year, although the number of tra fish exporters to the US market is likely to remain at less than three enterprises.

Việt Nam and China are the only exporters of tra fish to the US market, of which Vietnamese tra fish has accounted for 90 per cent of the total imports to the US at present, according to the association.

In previous years, China had mainly exported only fresh and frozen tra and basa catfish to the US market, but from 2017, it has increased the production of frozen catfish fillets worth some $37.2 million.

The average price of Chinese catfish in the US market is quite high, reaching $6.77 per kilo, while the price of Vietnamese catfish stands at only $3.42 per kilo.

Since Việt Nam’s catfish exports to the US market have been increasing, the cost of raw material of tra fish in the domestic market has surged by VNĐ5,000-VNĐ6,000 per kilo compared to the same period last year. This has, in turn, increased the price of catfish in all export markets, including the US.

However, anti-dumping duty and the catfish inspection programme have prevented local seafood enterprises from promoting exports of catfish products to the US market. — VNS


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