Russia is still an unstable market for Vietnam pangasius

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By Milthon Lujan

Vietnam.- In the first three months of 2019, the total export value of pangasius to the Russian market reached 4.88 million USD, down 12.6% year on year. In the past 10 years, from 2011-2019, the export value of pangasius to Russia has been unstable and tended to decrease.

In particular, from 2011 to 2012, pangasius exports reached the highest level from 51-54 million USD. After that, export value of pangasius gradually decreased and fluctuated erratically over the years.

Currently, Vietnam is the second largest supplier of white fish in Russia (after China). In particular, 100% of basa fish and pangasius at Russian market imported from Vietnam and mainly in the form of frozen fillet. This is also a traditional market which is willing to use yellow frozen pangasius products.

According to ITC statistics, in the first 2 months of 2019, the average price of imported pangasius from Vietnam has increased from 1.88 to 2.5 USD/kg in 2018 to 2.66-2, 67 USD/kg.

After the Vietnam Free Trade Agreement – Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU – include Russia, Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan) was signed in 2015 and officially came into effect in 2016, experts predict that there will be more opportunities for tra and basa fish to the Russian market. With a basic tax rate of 10%, fillet pangasius and basa products (HS 030462) will enjoy a 0% tax rate. However, in fact, Pangasius and basa enterprises are finding it difficult to take advantage of FTA to increase export activities. According to some enterprises, this is a volatile market. Moreover, compared to many other importers, export prices to this market are not really attractive.

Currently, China focuses on tilapia, while Vietnam with tra and basa fish and Argentina with hake fish. These three white fish products are fiercely competing in the Russian market. But in terms of trade history, the Russian market still gave more favor to Chinese tilapia products. Therefore, Vietnamese pangasius companies still have not paid much attention to increase exports to this market.

Source: VASEP

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