The Zero-Covid policy with prolonged restrictions has weakened the Chinese seafood market. Demand for seafood and seafood prices in the market both decreased. Statistics and data collected at 68 wholesale markets across the country show that in September 2022, seafood sales decreased by 19.6% compared to September 2021, the average seafood price was at 3. 41 USD/kg, down 12.1% over the same period last year. The price of freshwater seafood fell 6.3% to an average of $2.64/kg, while the volume of freshwater seafood sold fell by 16.5%, showing the impact of China’s COVID-19 lockdown.
In spite of some limitations due to the Zero-Covid policy, China is still a very potential destination for many Vietnamese pangasius exporters. By the end of November, pangasius exports to China reached 636 million USD, up 81% over the same period while exports to Hong Kong reached nearly 38 million USD, up 46%. Particularly, frozen pangasius fillets with HS code 0304 exported to China reached US$472 million, accounting for 74% of pangasius export value to this market.
According to statistics of China Customs, as of October 2022, imports of frozen fish fillets with HS code 0304 from Vietnam into China reached nearly 500 million USD. Of which, frozen pangasius fillets accounted for nearly 89% with $444 million.
The trend of the Chinese market in the coming time is unpredictable and depends significantly on whether China adjusts its Zero Covid policy or not as well as how it is adjusted. However, many seafood traders in the world, including Vietnamese enterprises, are hoping for the stability of this market as this is still a large market with high consumption demand.
Among Vietnamese pangasius import markets, China attracts the largest number of export enterprises. Up to now, there are more than 160 Vietnamese pangasius exporters in China. Top 5 pangasius exporters to China include Dai Thanh Co., Ltd., TG Fishery JSC, I.D.I Corporation, Cadovimex II and Go Dang JSC. In general, there’s not much difference in sales between these companies, accounting for 6-7% of pangasius export value to China.