Catfish fillet exports. (Photo Credit: CL-FISH)
Pangasius exports to Spain rise, Mexican imports fall
Friday, November 15, 2013, 01:30 (GMT + 9)
In September 2013, Vietnamese pangasius exports to Spain reached USD 5.8 million, up 39.2 percent from the same period of 2012. This was the second time since August 2013 that pangasius sales to this market had reported growth. However, the year-to-date export value decreased by 16.6 percent to USD 56.7 million.
Meanwhile, sales to Mexico, which is one of the steady markets for Vietnamese pangasius, continue a downward trend. In September, exports to this market fell by 37 percent to USD 4.8 million, after recording another decrease in value in August, reports Pangasius-Vietnam.
Statistics from the International Trade Centre (ITC) show that through July 2013, Spain bought 110,600 tonnes of frozen fish fillets from the world. The main sources were Vietnam, Namibia and China, though the volume imported from these three markets has been declining.
Last year, Vientam sent 35,600 tonnes of pangasius products to Spain, representing 20 percent of European total imports of this kind of fish. Frozen fish fillets accounted for 95 percent and the rest was fresh fish fillets. This was the first time that Spain consumed fresh pangasius fillets from Vietnam.
According to Pangasius-Vietnam, fresh fish are facing a downtrend in sales, while other processed and frozen products have been more consumed because of cheaper prices.
However, as the Spanish market has not shown strong recovery immediately, food services are trying to boost sales by reducing seafood prices, a situation which could benefit whitefish species like pangasius, Alaska pollock and hake.
Regarding Mexico, some exporters attribute the falling Vietnamese sales partly to a larger supply of domestic-farmed and imported tilapia in this market, together with stable prices of this fish.
China remained as the leading supplier of frozen fish fillets from Mexico in terms of value through July 2013, with total of USD 78.7 million, followed by Vietnam with USD 69.4 million.
Vietnamese exporters highlight that despite the recent fall in pangasius exports to Mexico, this country is still a steady market for pangasius from Vietnam, with higher prices compared to other importing countries.
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Photo Courtesy of FIS Member CL-Fish Corp., Ltd. - Cuu Long Fish JSC