According to statistics of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the first 10 months of 2022, imports of frozen pangasius fillets into the US market reached nearly 110 thousand tons, worth 474 million USD, up 24% in volume and 88% in value over the same period in 2021.
In 2021, the demand for frozen pangasius fillets imported into the US market also had a strong breakthrough, nearly doubling in volume, from 58 thousand tons to nearly 107 thousand tons. The value also nearly doubled from $158 million to $314 million.
By the end of October 2022, pangasius imports to the US have exceeded the level of 2021. In the context of high inflation, demand for high-priced seafood decreased while the trend of increasing pangasius imports is “taking over”. Shrimp imports into the US in the first 10 months of the year decreased by 2% in volume, other crustaceans such as crabs decreased by 17%. In general, the US market tends to consume more fish than shrimp, crab, and molluscs.
After tuna and salmon, white fishes are the third most popular in the US. In which, tilapia was imported the most, followed by cod and then pangasius.
In the frozen fish fillets segment (except tuna and salmon), frozen pangasius fillets imported to the US have the strongest growth in both volume and value. Imports of frozen tilapia fillets increased only 3% in volume, 27% in value, frozen cod imports increased by 10% and 40% respectively over the same period in 2021.
The average price of frozen pangasius fillets imported into the US in the first 10 months of 2022 reached US$4.27/kg, up 51% over the same period in 2021. Of all US imported seafood products, frozen pangasius fillets had the strongest increase in average price this year. Shrimp prices increased only 7%, frozen tilapia 23%, frozen cod 28%, salmon 18%, tuna 13%.
Although account an overwhelming portion in the US market, Vietnam’s pangasius exports to the US market focus mainly on the top 5 enterprises (accounting for a total of 98% of sales) including Vinh Hoan Corp, Bien Dong Seafood, VDTG FOOD, NTSF Seafoods and CASEAMEX.
Anti-dumping tax on pangasius is still the main obstacle for enterprises wanting to enter the US market. From 2003 to now, Vietnamese pangasius exporters have undergone 18 annual administrative reviews with many complicated developments and 3 sunset reviews in 2009, 2014 and 2019.
In the 18th administrative review of anti-dumping tax (CBPG) for the period from August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021 for Vietnamese pangasius by the US Department of Commerce (DOC), the tax rate Anti-dumping is applied basically the same as in the previous review.
Accordingly, there are two enterprises receiving tax rates of USD 0.00/kg and USD 3.87/kg respectively, one enterprise receiving a separate tax rate of USD 1.94/kg and 32 companies receiving the national tax rate of 2.39 USD/kg.
By the end of November 2022, Vietnam’s pangasius exports to the US market reached 521 million USD, an increase of 61% over the same period in 2021. However, in November, pangasius exports to this market decreased by 10% to nearly 30 million USD.
In 2023, inflation may cause the US seafood demand to continue to decline, but compared to other aquatic products and fishes, pangasius still has better room thanks to abundant supply, affordable price, while the quality is continuously improved.