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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 492 | AIRED 06/15/2020

Pangasius Market Update & The Effects of Covid-19

June 15th, 2020 --- In this week's episode we provide a COVID-19 Pangasius Market Update.

--- "Flatline Sales" and "High Inventories" can be used to describe the Pangasius market over the last few months, throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.

By the end of April 2020, the total export value of Pangasius reached $449.5 million USD, down nearly 27 percent compared to the same period in 2019.

However, it's not all doom and gloom as export figures show China, Singapore, and England seeing some positive growth since April.

Post Covid Consumers Dining at Restaurants

--- Let's begin with China.

China remains the largest export market of Vietnam Pangasius, accounting for 24.7 percent of the total export value.

Since the end of February, Chinese imports of Pangasius began to pick back up, as workers returned back to Chinese processing plants.

Although we saw a pick up, it has been reported that the workers are returning mainly for stocking purposes, as processors are worrying about potential import restrictions of goods from Vietnam due to social isolation protocols.

Though many restaurants remained closed in China, the main buyers were at supermarkets and through online sales.

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--- Moving on to the USA.

In March, Pangasius export value was up by 26.4 percent compared to March of 2019, but in April we saw the export value into the US decrease by 20.7 percent compared to the same time last year.

As America continues to battle the spread of COVID, sales of this whitefish continue to run mainly through retail channels.

The price of Pangasius has remained quite stable throughout the COVID Pandemic, and North American seafood buyers are also finding success turning profits on species like Pacific Cod, Pollock, and Chum, which are all seeing quite competitive prices in the marketplace.

Post Covid Consumers Dining at Restaurants

--- And finally, looking at the EU.

Blockade orders in some countries such as Italy have caused sharp declines in seafood consumption and demand due to foodservice being closed.

By the end of April, the export value of Pangasius to the EU market reached $48.3 million US, down 36 percent from the same time in 2019.

With the many complications of COVID-19 in major export markets, such as the US, the EU and Brazil - The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers forecast that it will be difficult for Pangasius exports in Q2 to escape negative growth.

In talking to Vietnamese producers, our VP of Asia Operations reports that they predict the market to recover by the end of this year, but that it's very dependant on if, or when, the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

If this does transpire, we should see a slight uptick in the price on Pangasius throughout the supply chain.

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