According to Duong Nghia Quoc, chairman of the Vietnam Pangasius Association, the domestic tra fish industry is expected to have a brighter year in 2023. The first quarter of this year saw a rise in exports, and there are good signals for the recovery of pangasius exports to the US market with lower anti-dumping duties.
Positive Signs for Export Growth
The Food Safety and Inspection Service under the United States Department of Agriculture officially recognized Vietnam’s Pangasius Food Safety Control System in November 2019. China, another key export market, is expected to increase demand for Vietnamese tra fish this year and beyond. Despite the difficulties caused by the coronavirus epidemic, the potential for boosting exports of tra fish to China in the long term is still significant.
Competition and the Need for Cooperation
Local businesses need to enhance trade promotion, expand markets, and apply technology to improve quality to compete globally. China and other countries, such as India, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, have also raised pangasius. The total output of these countries is likely to reach the same level as Vietnam. To tackle this competition, local businesses need to cooperate to develop production chains and avoid competition that would reduce prices.
Boosting Domestic Consumption
Vietnam’s tra fish industry has a big chance to promote the consumption of pangasius in the domestic market. The domestic market was ignored in the past, but now with a population of 100 million, there is great potential to consume 200,000 tonnes of tra fish every year if each person eats two kilos of tra fish per year. To develop the domestic market, the pangasius industry will need a strong distribution channel. The State should have incentives for local businesses to increase domestic tra fish consumption, and businesses must also boost trade promotion to bring more tra fish products to local customers.
In 2019, Vietnam gained US$2 billion from tra fish exports, down 11.7% compared to 2018 due to difficulties in exports to traditional markets, like the US, and the plunge in export prices. To maintain the growth of the tra fish industry, local businesses must continue to improve quality, expand markets, and cooperate to develop production chains. They must also promote the consumption of pangasius in the domestic market and increase domestic tra fish consumption.