China has become an increasingly lucrative market for Vietnam’s Tra fish (pangasius) but Vietnamese enterprises face risks in this market.
Tra fish is being processed for export in a factory.
In recent years, tra fish exports to China have grown strongly, helping offset the decline in traditional markets like the European Union and ASEAN.
In the past five years, tra fish exports to China increased annually by between 24.2 percent and 88.7 percent to reach 304.7 million USD in 2016, more than four times the export value five years earlier and almost double the value in 2015.
Aprt from China, the United States is Vietnam’s only major market that has seen tra fish exports continue to increase, reaching 387.4 million USD in 2016, up 22.8 percent.
Tra fish exports to the European Union have declined over the past three years to 261.1 million USD in 2016. Declines have also been seen in ASEAN (0.2 percent), Mexico (12 percent), Brazil (12.5 percent), Colombia (15.4 percent), and Saudia Arabia (16.6 percent).
However, enterprises who export catfish to China still face some risks.
Chinese companies often only pay 30 percent of the total value of shipments and logistics costs in advance. Vietnamese exporter only receive the remaining 70 percent if their Chinese partner receive the shipments.
Most tra fish products exported to China are butterfly-cut or fillet products, so if Chinese importers do not buy these products, it is hard for Vietnamese companies to export them to other markets.