Exportation Of Catfish Into The USA: Sale Strategy Is A Must

Translated from article of Vietnam Economics News: https://congthuong.vn/

US is a big market for Vietnam to export catfish into, yet a hard-to-please one with many strict technical barriers. Here Mrs. Nguyen Ngo Vi Tam – CEO of Vinh Hoan JSC – has shared her experience of approaching the US market.

xuat khau ca tra vao my phai co chien luoc ban hang phu hop
         Mrs. Nguyen Ngo Vi Tam – CEO of Vinh Hoan JSC

Could you share about the consumption of catfish in the US in the first months of this year?

During the last months, the situation of Covid-19 pandemic, along with the salinization in the Mekong Delta provinces, had posed significant influences on the production, processing and exportation of Vietnam catfish. Particularly, in the first 5 months of 2020, the exportation of catfish only reached nearly 600 million USD, 24% decreasing in comparison with that of last year’s same period.

However, in last April and May, with the reopen of markets around the world, large markets such as the US, EU or ASEAN had witnessed recovery. Accordingly, the rate of decrease in exportation value in these markets had begun to slow down in April and record a recovery of 60 -70 % from the end of May to the recent weeks.

What is your opinion about the potential of catfish market in the second half of 2020?

It depends on the situation of Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam and around the world. Only after the pandemic is under control could socio-economic activities among countries get back to normal, followed by the recovery of catfish exportation market. One positive thing is that this market seems to recover faster than markets of some other seafood because catfish are easy to cook and can be bought at a reasonable price, thus a suitable choice for consumers in time of financial difficulty.

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However, exportation of Vietnam, including catfish exportation, is expected to recover soon given that Vietnam’s ability to control the disease has been highly appreciated by many countries in the world. This plays an important role in maintaining the frequency of manufacture work throughout the past and in the coming months.

xuat khau ca tra vao my phai co chien luoc ban hang phu hop
To export catfish to the US, businesses must meet the required residues of antibiotics and metals.

Recently, Vietnam Agriculture Department has promulgated new decision about the Food Safety Control Program with regards to exported Siluformes fish to the US. In your opinion, how would this program impact businesses in catfish market?

This decision mentions some new details in accordance with the Control Program of USDA and the conditions of food safety in Vietnam evaluated as equal by USDA. For some small businesses, the implementation of this program could meet with difficulties, but this is required as to enhance the quality and position of catfish in the market. For bigger ones, there would hardly be any obstacles.

As one of the few businesses to successfully utilize the US market, could you share some experience to small businesses aiming to export into this market?

The US market has the same requirements about food safety and quality control as other major markets of Vietnam catfish, such as EU. However, with regards to the control program of USDA, apart from owning an equally qualified manufacture system, exported catfish to the US must be inspected at every harbor on the way, which requires businesses to make no mistakes during the process of controlling exported products. Besides, there’s also an anti-dumping duty decree imposed on Vietnam catfish. Therefore, to export to the US, businesses need to be consulted by lawyers, develop reasonable strategies, and comply with the anti-dumping duty.

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US also has a program to assess the conditions of factories in Vietnam under the requirement of USDA. To earn these qualifications, businesses should also be acknowledged of HACCP regulations by USDA, at the same time renovating factories and modifying the manufacture process so as to meet the US’ requirements.

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