Frozen pangasius export turnover to U.S. up 87%

By Huong Dung
Fri, September 23, 2022 | 1:24 pm GTM+7

Vietnam’s tra fish (pangasius) exports to the U.S. fetched $421 million in the first eight months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 87%, according to Vietnam Customs.

The U.S. market, the second largest importer of Vietnam’s tra fish after China, accounted for 23% of the total tra fish export revenue at $1.8 billion.

Processing tra fish for export. Photo courtesy of VASEP.

Processing tra fish for export. Photo courtesy of VASEP.

In August alone, tra fish shipments to this market brought home $33 million, up 45% over the same month last year. After reaching a high export volume of about 13,500-16,000 tons per month from March to May, tra fish exports to the U.S. began to slow down in June, fell to the lowest level in July and slightly recovered in August.

In the eight months, frozen fillet accounted for 87% of the country’s total pangasius export value to the U.S. It is estimated that Vietnam exported about 94,000 tons of frozen tra fish fillets to the U.S. during this period.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the first seven months of this year, the U.S. imported a total of 95,400 tons of frozen tra fish worth nearly $403 million, up 35% in volume and 106% in value over the same period last year.

Of this, imports from Vietnam reached 88,200 tons worth $371 million, representing respective year-on-year increases of 34% and 109%. Vietnam made up over 92% of frozen tra fish imports into the US, both in volume and value.

The average price of frozen tra fish imported by the U.S. in the first seven months reached $4.22 per kilogram, up 53% year-on-year. The price of frozen tra fish imported from Vietnam rose 56% year-on-year to reach $4.21 per kilogram.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has forecast that tra fish export revenues this year could reach $2.5-2.6 billion, up 56-65% year-on-year. So far, with $1.8 billion in revenue, 69% of the yearly target has been met.

The U.S. recently licensed six more Vietnamese pangasius processing factories to export to the market, raising the total number to 19.

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