The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the seafood markets in Vietnam, particularly in the Mekong Delta region. While pangasius material prices remain flat, the lifting of social distancing measures on April 22 has generated expectations of growing demand for domestic shrimp.
Pangasius Material Market
Prices of pangasius material in the Mekong Delta region in March 2020 ranged from 18,000-18,200 dong/kg. Despite the reduction in production since early April, demand for pangasius has trended downward. However, prices have been more stable than in the previous month. The market for pangasius material in the Mekong Delta has remained flat due to a drop in orders from most importers. In the first quarter of 2020, pangasius exports to the EU market decreased slightly by 5% in quantity but saw a significant slump in value compared to the same period last year. The US and EU are two epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic.
The lifting of social distancing measures has generated expectations of growing demand for domestic shrimp. Meanwhile, prices of white leg shrimp continue to rise in the Southwest region. For instance, white leg shrimp material size 100 pcs/kg had been once sold at 73,000-75,000 dong/kg, and size 30 pcs/kg was at 128,000 dong/kg. In early April, they inched up even more. In particular, size 15 pcs/kg was sold at 244,000 dong/kg, size 20 pcs/kg was at 202,000 dong/kg, size 25 pcs/kg was at 169,000 dong/kg, size 30 pcs/kg was at 132,000 dong/kg, and size 100 pcs/kg was at 90,000 dong/kg.
Exports to China
In April 08-14, 2020, pangasius exports to China increased by 33% through seaway but decreased sharply by 43% through border gates compared to the same period last year.
Impact of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected seafood markets globally. In particular, sales of Vietnamese pangasius to the US saw a slump in two weeks, Mar 25-31 (-40%) and April 01-04 (-50%). It has also resulted in a drop in orders from most importers and a decrease in exports to the EU market. The Mekong Delta region has been no exception to these impacts.