Imports of pangasius into the European Union overtook Alaska pollock for 2009, for the first time in history. According to the Fishfish study 2010 – produced annually by the EU Fish Processors and Traders Association (AIPCE), and EU Federation of National Organizations of Importers and Exporters of Fish (CEP) – imports of pangasius for 2010 were 726,000 tons, up from 697,000 tons for 2008.
Imports of Alaska pollock fell to 720,000 tons, compared to 907,000 tons for 2008.
“Alaska pollock was the first successful introduction of a new volume whitefish species, which quickly occupied the number two spot for popularity behind cod before briefly becoming the top species in 2008,” states the report.
However, a combination of raised prices, due to Bering Sea stock fluctuations, and a strong dollar saw volumes drop by over 20 percent in a year, is said. “For example pangasius from Vietnamese aquaculture has recently proved invaluable as a substantial new source of supply to grow the market, and helping to compensate for current declines in Alaska pollock supply.”
Imports of pangasius for the first half of 2010 suggest the level for this year will be marginally down on 2009.
Over the first half of 2010, Vietnam has exported 348,738 tons of pangasius into the EU; China: 339 tons; Thailand: 75 tons; and Bangladesh: 45 tons; giving a total of 349,152 tons.
Cod was the top import species, with 799 tons imported into the EU, up from 746,000 tons for 2008.
The total supply of cod, including catches by EU vessels and imports, was 925,000 tons, up from 863 tons for 2008.