Most of the salmon imported by Vietnam is processed and re-exported. (Photo: Supersalmon)
Good prospects for Chilean salmon in Vietnam
Monday, May 16, 2011, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
Vietnam proves to be a promising market for seafood from Chile, particularly for salmon and trout, according to a report by ProChile business office in this Asian country.
According to ProChile, "the growing trend of 'Westernization' in consumer habits and a significant number of foreigners residing in the Asian country, make the Vietnamese growing market promising for Chilean salmon."
In this sense, it is also stressed that Vietnam does not have an appropriate climate for salmon and trout farming.
The report also mentions the fact that in the country there are large corporations with their own processing plants that can add value to seafood products for re-exporting them to Japan and to Europe.
According to ProChile, only 20 per cent of the salmon imported by Vietnam is consumed in the domestic market, since most of the product is processed in the country and then re-exported.
ProChile clarifies that in the absence of import statistics from the General Department of Customs of Vietnam, Global Trade Atlas data had to be considered.
It is stated that according to this source, "Chile is the main prevailing participant, with approximately 70 per cent of market share of salmon and trout in Vietnam."
The report also mentions that for some years a preference to buy salmon heads to make soup has been seen.
"This is an ancient custom in the local culinary culture and it has recently been found that salmon confers a special different flavor. Many pioneer importers have detected this new niche and began to buy this product to large foreign suppliers at very cheap price because it is considered as waste destined for fishmeal production," as it has been explained by a ProChile representative.
"In Vietnam, the main seafood consuming centers are always big cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Vung Tau, where there are a lot of people and countless restaurants and hotels," explained a commercial office spokesperson in Chile.
Based on the information provided by Global Trade Atlas, in 2010 Vietnam imported Chilean trout for USD 9.7 million, representing 74.3 per cent of the total market (USD 13.1 million).
Meanwhile, in 2009 this Asian country bought trout from Chile for USD 5.7 million, that is to say, 64.4 per cent of its total imports (USD 8.8 million).
With respect to the Atlantic salmon, last year Vietnam imported this product for USD 2.3 million, representing 72.4 per cent of the total market (USD 3.2 million). And in 2009 it was bought to Chile for USD 1.4 million.
ProChile report adds that in 2010 and in 2009, Chile has not exported Pacific salmon to the Vietnamese market.
By Analia Murias