As of November 15, export value dropped by 72.7% from the same period last year, bringing the market from the third biggest importer of Vietnam’s tra fish in the European bloc down to the sixth.
According to Globefish under the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Vietnam’s tra fillet exports to Spain fell to 6,000 tonnes in the first half of this year, half that of the same period last year.
Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP Secretary General said the incorrect and defamatory information broadcast on the Spanish television channel Cuatro caused a strong drop in exports, which are forecast to fall 60 – 75% year on year.
Spain is an important market in Europe for Vietnam. The two countries have recorded increasing trade, with two-way trade hitting US$2.9 billion in 2016 and US$835 million in the first four months of this year. They aim to bring bilateral trade turnover to EUR5 billion by 2020.
Vietnam mainly exports aquatic products, coffee, textiles, rice and footwear to Spain, while importing chemicals, machines, pharmaceuticals, milk, electronics and spare parts.
In January, Cuatro reported tra fish in Vietnam was being raised in unclean cages and fed with non-industrialised feed like dead fish and other food waste. It went on to say that this explained low prices of Vietnamese tra fish.
After receiving information about the Cuatro report, VASEP sent a letter to the local media, rejecting it in its entirety, stressing that Vietnam’s tra fish production was hygienic and safe.