According to a report by VASEP, Vietnam exported more than US$410 million worth of tra fish to China and Hong Kong last year, up 34.8% over 2016 and accounting for 23% of the country’s total tra fish export.
Meanwhile, last year saw outbound sales of tra fish to the U.S. and the European Union (EU) falling around 11% and 22.3% respectively due to Farm Bill, an anti-dumping duty imposed by the US and media bias against Vietnam’s tra fish in the EU.
Despite falls in the US and the EU, the growth of the Chinese market helped the export turnover from tra fish hit US$1.78 billion last year, increasing 4.3% against the previous year.
VASEP general secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said the northern neighbor’s demand for tra fish would increase as the product is becoming more popular among Chinese consumers.
China may import an equivalent of 400,000 tons of live tra fish from the Mekong Delta region valued at US$400-US$500 million this year. However, the region has annual output of 1-1.2 million tons of live tra fish for export, so it is necessary to seek buyers for the remaining 600,000-800,000 tons.
In addition to ASEAN, Brazil and some other markets, the consumption of the remaining 600,000-800,000 tons of tra fish will depend on the EU and the U.S.
Meanwhile, the tra fish price has risen to an all-time high. Two-kilogram tra fish is sold at VND30,000-VND32,000 per kilogram while one-kilo fish sell for VND29,000-VND30,000 per kilogram, said Nguyen Huu Nguyen, manager of a fish farming cooperative in Chau Phu District, An Giang Province.
Vietnam is facing the scarcity of material tra fish while tra fish exporters have high demand for the product, resulting in higher tra fish price, Nguyen explained.