Pangasius export to the EU recovering after months of decline.

Pangasius fillet skin on Hung Hau

After months of stagnation and decline, pangasius export to the EU has recovered again over the first few months of this year.

According to Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), from the beginning of the year to middle February, the total export value of pangasius to the EU reached $20.2 million, up 40.2 % over the same session of the previous year.

This is the most promising growth after a long period of stagnation or sharp decline.

Currently, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Spain are the 4 largest single markets of exported pangasius in the EU for Vietnamese seafood businesses. Of which, the Netherlands is the largest market with a contribution of  36.6% to the total export value.

More than 10 years ago, the EU was Vietnam’s largest pangasius export market. However, after peaking in the 2016-2018 period, pangasius export to the EU started to stagnate and gradually decrease.

Pangasius Steak Hung Hau

The Covid-19 pandemic created additional difficulties for pangasius export to the EU. Many importers said they faced financial difficulties due to the demand for whitefish, including no increase of pangasius in many markets of the region, while logistics costs, transportation costs… increased significantly. Many EU customers have actively requested to reduce the purchase of pangasius, cancel or postpone orders that have been signed or are about to be signed.

On the other hand, due to the higher demand of EU customers without reasonable prices, in 2021, many pangasius businesses with concentrated export to the EU have switched to other markets such as China, Mexico, Brazil, Egypt, Colombia and Thailand. This also explained the reason for the continuous decrease in the export value of pangasius to the EU in the past 2 years.

As a consequence, VASEP stated that at the beginning of this year, the recovery in pangasius export value to the EU showed that many businesses still desire to return to this market. The EU is still considered a large and important market for Vietnamese pangasius businesses.

Author Son Trang

Translated by Hoang Duy