Opportunities for tra fish to enter Chinese market

Sunday, 2019-06-23 15:32:05
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Vietnam has more opportunities to export tra fish to China.
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NDO – As one of the popular products in the Chinese market, tra fish (pangasius) have huge potential for being exported to the neighbouring country in 2019 and in coming years.

Loosening policies and opening up opportunities

Song Tien Seafood Company has exported their products to many countries around the world, including China, but mainly through unofficial channels. The company has focused on improving the quality of products, while negotiating with partners to sign official contracts to avoid price pressures and actively set long-term production plans.

Recently, China and Vietnam have boosted negotiations towards China’s approval of tax exemptions for 33 seafood products exported through Ha Khau border gate in Lao Cai province, including tra fish and catfish. This development will create a great competitive advantage for Vietnamese tra fish exporters.

According to Truong Dinh Hoe, Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), there are now over 150 Vietnamese enterprises exporting seafood to China, including around 45 tra fish exporters. China has loosened its import policies, which will create more opportunities for tra fish products to enter the most populous market in the world.

Vietnamese tra fish products have been relatively favoured by Chinese consumers. Their demand for imported seafood has gradually increased. They are also willing to pay for the products accepted by the US and European markets. Especially, since being exported to the US, the consumption of Vietnam’s tra fish in China has been increased. In addition, high-end customers have imported high-quality fillet basa fish from the US. However, since the US-China trade war broke out, Chinese businesses have tended to import more tra fish from Vietnam as an alternative sources.

Besides, most of seafood enterprises in the southern region have moved from overland transport to sea. The official exports by sea will help enterprises limit payment risks, improve the products’ quality and save costs.

VASEP’s Secretary General Truong Dinh Hoe noted that the export turnover of tra fish to China reached around US$500 million in 2018 and China continued to be the largest import market of Vietnamese tra fish in the first months of this year. The export value of this kind of fish to the neighbouring country in 2019 is forecasted to increase around 10%-15% compared to the previous year, he added.

Improving products’ quality to conquer Chinese market

Many people think that China is an easy market. In fact, with an increase of middle class people, China is a developing market that pays much attention to food safety and hygiene.

In addition, with the acceptance of tax reduction, Chinese agencies have also imposed more strict requirements on the quality, origin traceability and packaging. Vietnam’s agricultural products are also subject to intense competition in terms of quality, price, brand and distribution form from the countries with similar agricultural products for consumption in Chinese market.

VASEP’s leader Hoe said that the price of exported tra fish of Vietnam is quite reasonable, so it is crucial to ensure the products’ quality. “Enterprises need to raise the export volume through official channels to China. To do this, quality is the leading factor”, he noted.

Many businesses said that China is tightening the inspection of food safety and trade through unofficial channels, which will promote enterprises to strictly comply with food hygiene and safety standards to increase exports in the coming time.