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3-Minute Market Insight

EP 552 | AIRED 08/23/2021

Pangasius Market Once Again Plagued by COVID-19

August 23rd, 2021--- This week we provide an update on the Pangasius market as Vietnam is under COVID-19 lockdown and higher prices are expected for Pangasius.

--- After a difficult year for Pangasius producers in 2020, the market was beginning to look promising at quarter two of 2021, with Pangasius exports up 16 percent in June 2021 compared to in 2020, all thanks to a recovery in demand once import markets revived from COVID-19.

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However, Vietnam’s latest COVID-19 lockdown leads some to believe the lack of supply will extend through to 2022.

With new infected cases on the rise, many factories are forced to close due to high case count, as well as not being able to socially distance.

On top of the closures, the export market is now facing high sea freight rates and lack of containers at main shipping routes for the US, Europe, and Canada.

Prices in the Pangasius market continue to climb and have increased even higher this week due to COVID-19 closures resulting in limited supplies, and ability to restock.

Right now pricing can be seen leaning towards the $2.70 to $2.75/lb USD range at the wholesale level on the east coast - up from near rock bottom pricing seen just over a year ago.

We do not anticipate any downward pricing for Pangasius anytime soon, especially as Pollock is short and is not readily available.


Additionally, with the price of aqua feeds rising, farmers are feeding the fish in moderation due to the high cost of feeds and difficulty in harvesting activities.

Even after harvesting, farmers could not start new fingerlings because of transportation restrictions.

Once the lockdown ends in Vietnam, the new challenge will be primarily a lack of raw material of the optimal size - specifically a lack of small-to-middle sized fish.

800-1000gram size fish are running out and inventories of Pangasius are low.

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On the horizon, large sizes (7/9oz, 9/11, and 11-up) will likely be abundant because of late harvesting.

Our sources have advised us small fish under 800gram are anticipated to be in shortage until Quarter 4 2021 to early 2022.

We expect the production capacity to recover in late September-October once the pandemic has settled and lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

For the interim, look out for obscure offers such as 11-13oz IQF Fillets in the marketplace.


On that note we have a tremendous opportunity on new production 8-10oz Shatter Pack Pangasius Fillets - please inquire within.

Our recommendation is to secure offers of Pangasius as they become available in the marketplace but to also contact us to help you develop an alternative value priced whitefish program while waiting for the Pangasius supply situation to settle.

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