08:23 | 06/06/2015 Trade
(VEN) - According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Tra fish exports yielded US$418.5 million in the first four months of 2015. Although the exports decreased 10.8 percent in value compared to the same period last year, they began to increase slightly in April 2015.
Good news from the US market
Tra fish exports to the US came to US$14.38 million in the first half of April, up 94.5 percent from the same time last year, taking the total in the first four months to US$92.39 million, up 1.4 percent from the same period of 2014.
According to seafood export businesses, the exchange rate adjustment by the State Bank of Vietnam and a stronger US dollar helped boost Vietnam’s Tra fish exports to this market and the US continued to be Vietnam’s Tra fish biggest importer.
Positive signs were also seen in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market as Tra fish export businesses earned US$39.68 million in the first four months of 2015, a year on year increase of 5.6 percent. Despite a modest growth, this remains Vietnam’s third largest market after the US and the EU.
Vietnam’s Tra fish exports to the EU did not escape the downward trend. According to Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) Nguyen Hoai Nam, the US dollar’s appreciation against the euro resulted in difficulties for Vietnam’s export activities. In addition, the lower demand for Vietnam’s Tra fish was due to the bloc’s economic slowdown. In the same period, Tra fish export revenue to the EU fell by 15.3 percent to stand at US$81.48 million.
Processed exports yield high revenue
The statistics showed that 98.68 percent of the Tra fish exports were in refrigerated form and worth around US$413.022 million while processed Tra fish only accounted for 1.32 percent and were valued at worth US$5.5 million.
In this difficult time, export businesses have strived to promote the export of processed products to increase the added value as part of efforts to ensure the sustainable development of Vietnam’s seafood businesses.
According to Chairman of Vietnam Tra Fish Association Nguyen Viet Thang, Vietnamese firms exported mostly refrigerated fillets while there was a growing demand for processed consumer products.
Exported Tra fish fillets were sold at 50 US cents per 100 grams, while processed Tra fish products can be sold up to US$4 per 100 grams. Therefore, improving Tra fish quality and value through investing in processing technology was vital to Vietnam’s Tra fish industry and seafood sector in general.
By Diem Phuong