Vietnam’s pangasius is increasingly being used by consumers in the world because of its convenience, neutral texture and taste, easy processing and affordable price that can fit every market segment.
By 2022, Vietnamese pangasius has conquered more than 140 markets around the world, including markets with strict requirements on food safety and technical regulations such as the US, EU and markets that farmed fish used to be unpopular like Japan.
The popularity of pangasius and the efforts of the Vietnamese business community to bring pangasius to the world have helped the industry bring in a large amount of foreign currency each year. With an export turnover of $1.5-2.4 billion/year, pangasius accounts for 16-26% of Vietnam's total seafood export value.
Looking back at the pangasius export picture from 2017 to 2022 and 2023 forecast
Pressured by anti-dumping tax barriers in the US market every year, being "bummed" by the media in the EU because of competition with white fish and other market barriers, but Vietnamese pangasius is still strongly reaching out to the world market and affirming its position. This is thanks to the growth of the Vietnamese pangasius export and processing business community, knowing how to seize market opportunities, overcome challenges and barriers, and build the prestige of Vietnamese products.
Pangasius has become the No. 1 favorite farmed white fish in many markets such as the EU, Mexico, UK, China, Japan, the Middle East countries and increased market share in major markets like USA and Russia.
In the past 6 years, pangasius exports have experienced a period of ups and downs, mainly affected by the Covid pandemic from 2020 to 2021.
Accordingly, in 2020, pangasius exports fell to the lowest level of nearly $1.5 billion, down 26% compared to 2019. The strong outbreak of Covid in the world market, especially in the US and EU causing demand to decline and more seriously, the disruption of the global trade logistics chain, the sharp increase in sea freight rates, making pangasius enterprises unable to reach markets as far as the Americas and Europe.
In 2021, the consumption market began to recover, but the continuous outbreak of Covid-19 in Vietnam, especially the peak in the third quarter disrupted the entire commercial seafood production chain. Pangasius suffered the most from the pandemic because it was located in the pandemic center and that time should be the time to speed up export production to serve the year end demand. Therefore, although pangasius exports have recovered by 8%, it only reached over $1.6 billion.
2022 is considered the "renaissance" period of Vietnam pangasius industry. Vietnam's pangasius exports have made a strong breakthrough with a record of $2.4 billion. After the peak of the epidemic, inventories remained high, production and processing recovered, and demand in all markets increased. Pangasius export prices increased by 20-55%, especially in the US market. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has caused the supply of white fish in many markets to decrease, creating opportunities for pangasius to increase market share.
Inflation is reducing the demand for seafood in the world market, pangasius exports will also be partly affected. However, with the advantage of stable supply and affordable prices, pangasius exports will be more stable than other commodities and is expected to make a strong breakthrough as soon as the market stabilizes.
In 2023, white fish is forecasted to face a shortage in supply and a sharp increase in the price. As inflation penetrates the world economies, especially in G7 markets, consumers will continue to tighten spending on high-priced food items. Midde-price food items like pangasius will not be significantly affected. Therefore, Vietnamese pangasius still sees an optimistic opportunity in 2023.
Read more: Seafood Industry Report
Seafood Industry Report - December 2022