4 solutions to stabilize and boost Pangasius export

At the Meeting of Pangasius enterprises on 25th April 2011, the VASEP and its members were determined to speed up four solution s to stabilize and boost Pangasius export. 

In the first three months this year, Pangasius exports increased by 5.2 percent in volume and 21.6 percent in value against the same period last year. In comparison with Q1/2010, Pangasius export price was up 25 per cent. Chairman of VASEP’s Freshwater Fish Committee (VFFC), Mr. Duong Ngoc Minh, said this reflected higher demand in worldwide markets.
4 solutions
It is reported that 4 solutions to stabilize and boost Pangasius export, which were approved at the Pangasius Exporters Meeting on December 02, 2010, have been implemented simultaneously.
The floor price was set on December 10, 2010, and was applied since January 01, 2011, for two main items (US$2.05/kilo for untrimmed fillet; US$3/kilo for well-trimmed). After 2 months, untrimmed fillet price was increased to US$2.2/kilo. Most exporters respected their commitments regarding export floor price, any ones who sold Pangasius at lower price were immediately warned. However, the number of violations decreased by month.
Most exporters said by setting a right floor price to protect the interests of both farmers and exporters, VASEP had created favorable conditions for exporters to purchase raw material and sell the products to customers. They did not have to worry about price competition, either.
Despite the fact that Pangasius production in 2011 might reach only 800,000MT, Pangasius export volume still increased in Q1/2011, said VFFC. The rise in export volume was attributed to exporters’ efforts to sell out all inventories. As their inventories run out, the export in the months to come will unlikely increase and the price will continue to increase, possibly by 10% as some exporters have predicted.  The shortage of raw materials, however, had its own positive impacts on exports. In one way, Pangasius can be sold at higher price. Many experts predict a rise in export price in the next few months. Increasing export price led to a rise in purchasing price of material, thereby helping farmers to earn profit. It also forced exporters to pay more attention to building their own farms, or signing contracts with farmers. In other way, the predictability of Pangasius export is maintained when the number of exporters and traders who cannot acquire adequate raw materials be minimized.
In Q1/2011, the campaigns to protect and promote the image of Vietnamese Pangasius worldwide did work. The US Department of Commerce decided to impose lower anti-dumping margins on Vietnamese Pangasius. Some Vietnamese exporters even enjoyed zero anti-dumping rate. In Europe, the Directorate of Fisheries (D-Fish), VASEP and VINAFIS already reached agreement with WWF International, ASC and GlobalG.A.P on implementing the Aquaculture Improvement Program (AIP) to promote Pangasius products in global market and build capacity in development and application of sustainable standards in Viet Nam.
To fund the efforts to overcome the trade barriers and smear campaigns against Vietnamese  Pangasius, build and promote a trademark for Pangasius worldwide, lobby to find solution in international disputes, and hire foreign lawyers on legal issues, on April 21, 2011, based on VASEP requirements, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) already proposed to the Prime Minister to allow the establishment of  “Pangasius Export Development Fund”.
In the near future
The average export price will be adjusted according to actual production and market demand. Export prices of untrimmed and well-trimmed  Pangasius fillets were proposed at respectively US$2.5 and US$3.2 per kilo. The average export price was estimated at US$2.8 per kilo, up 30 percent against the US$2.14 per kilo average of last year.
It is necessary to instruct farmers to adjust stocking and harvesting schedule in order to assure a stable source of raw material. VASEP urged MARD to tighten the control over Pangasius farming planning, and maintain Pangasius output at 1 million MT level in the next few years. Besides, the association also asked MARD to work with enterprises to improve the quality and output of broodstocks and seeds. Adequate attention should be paid to feeds quality and price in order to improve processing capacity and reduce finished product’s price.
VASEP also asked MARD to help farmers to apply advanced farming techniques and using no chemicals and antibiotics to improve the quality of raw material, protect the environment and fulfill social responsibility.
To build a positive image for Vietnamese Pangasius and increase export price, VASEP suggested more stringent control of product quality, and a common name of the fish. Specifically, it will be named as “Pangasius” or “Swai” in the US market and only as “Pangasius” in other markets. To use a common name for the fish is to promote this product image in global market.
VASEP also asked MARD to tighten inspection and punishment against any excessive use of additives or chemicals that may negatively affect the image of Vietnamese  Pangasius. Exporters must comply with the regulation on maximum glazing rate (20 percent) and other regulations concerning chemical and additives usage.
It was suggested that upon Prime Minister’s approval, the “Pangasius Export Development Fund” establishment should be sped up as a way to support trade promotion and overcome trade barriers against this product. Pangasius exporters would voluntarily contribute US$0.01 per kilo of  Pangasius products exported (US$0.02 for the US market).
At the European Seafood Exhibition (ESE 2011) and Vietfish 2011, D-Fish and VASEP would host numerous seminars and meetings with customers and international mass media correspondents to promote the image of Vietnamese Pangasius as a sustainable, environmental and social responsible product.
VASEP and VINAFIS would closely work with WWF and other agencies to implement 8 steps in the Aquaculture Improvement Program. D-Fish would sign an agreement with GlobalG.A.P on development of VietGAP standard for Vietnamese seafood, including Pangasius.
The US Department of Commerce was going to finish the public comment period for its  Pangasius inspection regulation. Therefore, Vietnamese exporters were encouraged to raise their opinions in order to avoid a new trade barrier on the fish.
By speeding up implementation of overall 4 groups of solutions, VASEP and its members and the whole Pangasius industry showed their determination to improve the status of Vietnamese  Pangasius in the world market.
Compiled by NGOC DIEP
Source: Vietfish International

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