Vietnam boosts catfish exports to U.S., China, Brazil

By Toan Dao   July 3, 2016 | 04:49 pm PT
Vietnamese companies sharply increased exports of catfish to the U.S., China and Brazil in the first five months of this year but lowered shipments to the European Union, the government portal reported Sunday, citing data from Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP).

The country’s total export value of catfish during January-May rose 5.5 percent year on year to $650 million. Of the total, exports to the U.S. in the period were worth $152 million, accounting for 23.4 percent and up 12.9 percent from a year earlier. The U.S. remained the largest destination for Vietnamese catfish in the first five months.

Vietnamese catfish. Photo by VnExpress/MH

Vietnamese catfish. Photo by VnExpress/MH

Shipment value to China over January-May jumped 72.7 percent year on year to $94.9 million while exports to Brazil were worth $32.8 million, surging 118.3 percent year on year, according to the data.

Vietnam’s exports value to the E.U. in the first five months, however, fell 8.1 percent from a year earlier to $109.3 million.

Meanwhile, in the first half of this year, Vietnam’s catfish industry was facing various difficulties ranging from consumption markets, volatile prices and diseases, which have led to a decrease in catfish farming area. The catfish farming area in the Mekong Delta in the first half of this year is estimated at 3,757 hectares, down 5.5 percent from the same period last year. The catfish output in the region during January-June is estimated at 526,683 tons, almost the same with last year. Vinh Long, Ben Tre, An Giang and Dong Thap saw their catfish production falling from 1 percent to 12 percent year on year.

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