Pangasius export expects to reach $2.4 billion this year

Although the price of pangasius fish has slightly declined since the beginning of this year, it is still at high level that ensures profits for farmers.

Processing pangasius for export in An Giang Province. (Photo: SGGP)

Processing pangasius for export in An Giang Province. (Photo: SGGP)

The Vietnam Pangasius Association encourages firms to focus on improving fingerlings and expanding export market. Particularly, Pangasius industry continues to restructure production, develop consumption market and aim for sustainable growth.
At the beginning of February, the price of pangasius fish slightly dropped to VND29,000 per kilogram, getting a profit of VND8,000 per kilogram for farmers. According to Mr Nguyen Thanh Tuan, a pangasius farmer in Cai Rang District in Can Tho City, farmers have continued to raise fingerlings for harvesting after Tet holidays.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, after facing difficulties for a long time, pangasius exporting is returning to its heyday with pangasius farmers earning a profit of VND8,000-14,000 per kilogram, the highest level in the history. Pangasius exporters have also earned well in 2018.
Mr Doan Toi, CEO of Nam Viet Joint Stock Company, said that his company got a revenue of VND4.1 trillion and post-tax profit of around VND600 billion in 2018, much higher than that of the same period the previous year, thanks to bumper crop of pangasius fish. This year, the company aims for an export target of $250-300 million and post-tax profit of VND700 billion.
Mr Duong Nghia Quoc, chairman of The Vietnam Pangasius Association, said that pangasius industry made a breakthrough in export turnover by exceeding $2.26 billion in 2018 with production of 1.3 million tons of pangasius. Noticeably, the price of pangasius fish sometime surged to VND35,000 per kilogram. Export of pangasius was optimistic with exports to China highly increasing. In addition, Vietnamese pangasius products received lower anti-dumping tax in the US market.
Recently, pangasius exporters have flexibly adapted and been experienced when reacting to technical barriers as well as commercial competition from other countries. Moreover, authorities have always paid attention to and supported development of local pangasius industry. These have helped Vietnamese pangasius to gain back its position in global market, Mr Quoc said.
The Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that it was encouraging that pangasius exports hit $2.26 billion last year. The area of pangasius fish farm and pangasius production in the region of Mekong Delta provinces both increased thanks to great export. With the current favorable situation, authorities set export target of $2.4 billion for pangasius industry this year. In order to achieve this target, authorities, exporters and farmers will have to put more effort.
According to experts, farmers and exporters should change their thinking and restructure production towards high-tech and smart development. Mr Duong Nghia Quoc said that as the price of pangasius was high, farmers would increase production in the near future. However, farmers need to ensure product quality, apply technology to reduce cost price reasonably and pay attention to environmental issues in production. The association is in the progress of promoting the improvement of pangasius industry by focus on improving the quality of fingerlings, including upgrading hatching and nursing process and using biological products and vaccines to increase resistance for fingerlings.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that amid a shortage of good fingerlings and effort to improve the environment for pangasius farming, some provinces in the Mekong Delta and large firms, such as Viet Uc Company and Nam Viet JSC have recently invested heavily into the industry.
Mr Doan Toi affirmed that pangasius industry has a great potential but requires sustainable investment. Particularly, Nam Viet JSC has recently started the ‘Binh Phu high-tech pangasius farming’ project on an area of 600 hectares with total investment of VND4 trillion ($172.7 million). The project includes a three-tier pangasius fingerlings production division with an investment of VND1 trillion and a high-tech pangasius farming division with an investment of VND3 trillion. The two divisions will be equipped with modern equipment. The company aims to complete the closed value chain of sustainable pangasius industry, since then, increases market share at large import market in the world.
The leader of Hung Ca Company in Dong Thap Province also revealed that pangasius fish was gaining back its position in the market. Therefore, the company would continue to build Hung Ca 6 seafood processing factory whose capacity is 300 tons of fish per day on an area of 21,000 square meters with total investment of VND465 billion. The factory will be furnished with high-tech and environmental friendly equipment and will meet consumption demand of choosy markets.

By Huynh Loi, Cao Phong – Translated by Thuy Doan

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