|Illustrative photo. (Source: vneconomy.vn)
Vietnam Economic Times quoted statistics released by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) as showing that by late June, the total value of tra fish exports reached US$961.6 million, a fall of 4.1 per cent on year. The sluggish export was partly caused by decreased shipments to key markets such as the US, Brazil, and Colombia.
However, tra fish exports are forecast to bounce back, but not exceeding a growth rate of 15 per cent during the third quarter of the year in comparison to the same period last year.
Tra fish shipments to China in the first half of the year grew much slower than that of previous years. By late June, tra fish exports to the neighbouring country recorded US$254.3 million, increasing by 1.2 per cent on year, accounting for 26.4 per cent of the total export value.
This underpinned an export trend seen in the first half of the year that the majority of tra fish exports were sent to China while exports to the US market decreased.
The EU spent a total of US$138.5 million on importing Vietnamese tra fish during the first six months of this year, rising by 18 per cent and representing 14.4 per cent of the country’s total value of tra fish exports. The value of tra fish shipments to the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, and Belgium rose by 0.7 per cent, 46 per cent, 51.3 per cent, and 35.2 per cent on year, respectively.
VASEP anticipated that during the third quarter of the year, tra fish exports to the EU will continue the upward trajectory was seen in the first half of the year.
Tra fish exports are expected to enjoy a further boost once the newly-signed EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into full effect. For instance, fresh tra fillets will be subject to preferential tariffs which would see a drop from 9 per cent to 0 per cent three years after the pact takes effect. In addition, frozen fillets will benefit from a tariff cut from 5.5 per cent to 0 per cent three years after the implementation of the EVFTA.
As for the US market, tra fish exports to the US was estimated at US$141.9 million by the end of June, a year on year fall of 27.9 per cent. June alone saw the value of tra fish shipments to the US fall sharply by 40.8 per cent.
This drop can be attributed to the US’s increased anti-dumping tariffs on tra fish products imported from Vietnam.
Back in April, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) announced a final decision made during the DOC’s 14th Period of Review regarding anti-dumping tariffs on batches of Vietnamese tra fish imported into the US between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017.
As a result, anti-dumping tariffs were set far higher than the preliminary rates which had been previously announced last September. Tra fish exports to the US in the third quarter of the year are unlikely to stay higher than that seen in the same period last year.
VASEP said that during the first six months of the year, tra fish exports to the ASEAN market reached US$100.8 million, an annual hike of 7.9 per cent. Specifically, such exports to Thailand and the Philippines rose by 9.7 per cent and 11.8 per cent, respectively, while those to Malaysia recorded an impressive growth rate of 33.4 per cent on year.
ASEAN is regarded as a promising market for domestic tra fish firms. Bright prospects are thought to lay ahead for tra fish exports to this market during the third quarter of 2019.