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Pushing up pangasius export to the U.S

In recent years, catfish farming areas in the U.S kept being contracted because the U.S. farmers turned their back upon this species due to low profit caused by high feed price. Moreover, this year, the U.S was hit heavily by floods in a number of southern states where are the key farming areas like Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. Bases on this trend, Vietnam pangasius exports to the U.S. will continue to achieve optimistic results in the late months of 2011. During last ten months, fish export value to the U.S reached US$34.6 million, up 99.6 percent compared to the same period of 2010, bringing export value in October to US$261.25 million, up 99.9 percent. As of the end of October 2011, Vietnam pangasius exports maintained a two-digit growth rate, earning US$1.48 billion, a year on- year increase of 29.2 percent in which exports in October reached US$170.6 million, up 27.6 percent over US$156 million of September. Europe remains Vietnam’s largest pangasius consumer, making up 30 percent of total exports. In October 2011, pangasius exports to the EU gained US$45.6 million, up over US$41.3 million of previous month but down 9 percent against the same period of 2010. According to some Vietnam pangasius exporters, pangasius exports to the block are declining as this market has a high demand for fillets sized between 120-170 gram/ piece and 170-220 gram/piece, equal to raw fish sized 700-800 gram. However, the kind of raw fish is scarce and in high price. In October 2011, Spain – the biggest importer of Vietnam pangasius in EU block – remained the growth in importing Vietnam pangasius. In two recent months, Vietnam pangasius imported into Spain kept rising thanks to high demand for Christmas and New Year. Although pangasius exports to Spain in recent months are increasing but it is not strong enough to compensate for low export in early 2011. Therefore, as of the end of October 2011, fish exports to the market continued to decline. In Jan-Oct 2011, fish shipment to Spain reported US$93.5 million, representing a decrease of 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year. Although domestic exporters continue to face many difficulties in the last months of 2011, export earnings of pangasius are expected to reach US$1.6 billion this year.

Source: VASEP

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