Việt Nam will not see high year-end growth in exports of tra fish and shrimp to US by this year because trade barriers have reduced their value, according to the national seafood association.
Meanwhile, exports of these seafood products to Japan, China, Brazil and the ASEAN bloc have increased significantly in the first eight months of the year, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
In the first eight months of this year, the value of Việt Nam’s shrimp exports to the US was nearly US$416 million, down 4.4 per cent over the same period in 2016. The US has dropped from being the largest export market for Vietnamese shrimp in 2006 to fourth place now.
According to the association the reduction was mainly due to the impact of the US Department of Commerce (DOC) increasing antidumping duties in the preliminary determination of the 11th administrative review (POR11) for Việt Nam’s shrimp on the US market.
In addition, strong competition from India – the main competitor for Vietnamese shrimp in the US market, has contributed to the current situation.
Therefore, while demand for shrimp in the US market usually increases by the year-end because it is a holiday season, a corresponding increase in Việt Nam’s shrimp exports to this market is unlikely.
A similar situation applies to trafish. Because of the catfish inspection programme that started in August 2017, Việt Nam’s tra fish exports to the US reduced 58.5 per cent month-on-month to US$18.44 million and 54.8 per cent year-on-year. The Vĩnh Hoàn Joint Stock Company, one of Việt Nam’s largest tra fish exporters to the US, saw a reduction of about 50 per cent in exports of the fish in August.
Moreover, in early September, the DOC announced it would impose an anti-dumping duty of $2.39 per kilogramme on frozen tra fish fillets which were imported from Việt Nam between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016, following its POR 13. The rate was three times higher than the rate at POR12.
According to the local tra fish businesses, this was an unfair decision that has hurt them. The high antidumping duty and the catfish inspection programme will prevent local businesses from promoting tra fish exports to the US market in the future.
The VASEP said that by the end of this year, Việt Nam’s tra fish exports to the US market would continue to decrease.
Domestic prices up
Meanwhile, the domestic price of tra fish (pangasius) is rising because of limited supply and increasing demand for export at the year-end, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The prices of tra fish in the Mekong Delta last month was around VNĐ25,000-27,000 per kilogramme. The prices of young tra fish fry for breeding have also increased due to a shortage of the fish and increasing demand for breeding. To date, tra fish in being cultivated on around 5,140ha in the Mekond Delta, which is 1.3 per cent less than the previous year. But tra fish output in the first nine months of this year was 998,000 tonnes, up 9.8 per cent.
Localities with largest breeding area and tra fish output were Đồng Tháp Province and Cần Thơ City with 390,000 tonnes and 134,000 tonnes, respectively.