VCN – By the end of first quarter of 2021, the total value of exported shutchi catfish hit $344.2 million, increasing by 3% from the same period last year. It is expected to pull out export turnover of seafood in 2021.
|Processed shutchi catfish is popular in the European market. Photo: T.H|
Shutchi catfish exports in the first months of this year have started to revive after a year of disruption and crisis in some major markets due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
By the end of the first quarter of 2021, the total export value of shutchi catfish hit $344.2 million, increasing by 3% from the same period in 2020.
According to Ta Ha, shutchi catfish expert of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in recent years, the US catfish industry has faced difficulties when the aquaculture area and quantity decreased sharply. The country is forced to import shutchi catfish products to fill this shortfall. According to some importers, US inventories have been depleted since the beginning of this year, so the demand for US shutchi catfish imports is set to increase soon.
Russia is a market that attracted a lot of attention from Vietnam’s shutchi catfish exports in the first months of this year. Russia has been a potential market for businesses in the past 10 years. However, with a different import policy than other markets, shutchi catfish exporters have also experienced many ups and downs. In the first three months of this year, this market stands out for its triple-digit growth, up to 126.3 percent from the same period last year, reaching $10 million (after the UK market). Particularly in March, the export value to this market reached $4.46 million, increasing more than 700% from the same period last year.
According to shutchi catfish exporters, if only looking at this growth rate, firms are not really secure because from the beginning of this year, input costs have increased sharply, shipping costs have also skyrocketed. leading to an increase of selling prices.
Whether shutchi catfish exports in the coming time will be bright or not mainly depends on the US and Chinese markets, because from a negative growth rate of 30% in the first quarter, the EU cannot rise in the second quarter, when the recovery of demand in the food service industry is not clear. The US is increasing imports of shutchi catfish from Vietnam and this will continue in the coming months. Big enterprises exporting shutchi catfish to the US are stable and have no problems with the market, so they will continue to promote exports.
In the context that the Covid-19 pandemic is still very complex, seafood enterprises said that the export of shutchi catfish and shrimp will depend mainly on market fluctuations. The widespread deployment of vaccinations in these markets helps people gradually feel secure and return to tourism, entertainment and public activities, so demand in restaurants, hotels and services will also recover. The US market will continue to be a bright spot for Vietnamese seafood, with an anticipated increase in the demand for shrimp, shutchi catfish, tuna and other seafood. Especially for shrimp, Vietnam will have more opportunities in the US as India – the largest supplier in this market is facing production difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
China – Hong Kong market tightened measures to control coronavirus from the last months of 2020 until now, affecting the activities of Vietnam importers, processors and reducing imports of seafood from other countries including Vietnam. Vietnam’s seafood exports to the Chinese market are unlikely to recover strongly soon. However, this will be an opportunity for Vietnam to increase its exports to other major markets, gaining some market share from China.
It is forecast that seafood exports will continue to prosper soon when the free trade agreements are gradually being implemented more comprehensively and effectively and will continue to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese goods to penetrate partner markets with preferential tariffs, thereby promoting strong export growth, especially seafood products. Firms are recommended to improve competitiveness and adaptability to overcome difficulties and proactively change direction to effectively seize opportunities in the new context.
By Lê Thu/Thanh Thuy