Higher duties don’t sway US suppliers from swai
It may not be a name that rolls easily off the tongues of consumers, or even retailers and foodservice operators, but pangasius is riding a popularity wave within the United States.
After riding a wave of price hikes earlier this year due to increased tariffs, U.S. pangasius buyers have begun to breathe a little easier now that prices have returned to normal levels. Yet even with a 77-cent per kilogram increase in the duties assessed on imported pangasius, the U.S. market continues to seek more supply from Vietnam.
The United States accounted for 24 percent of Vietnam’s total earnings from pangasius exports from January through May, or approximately USD 170.2 million (EUR), according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP). Europe, traditionally the leading pangasius (swai, tra, striped pangasius, sutchi) market, moved to second place with a value of USD 159 million (EUR) for that same period, accounting for 22.4 percent of Vietnam’s pangasius exports.
Other countries in Vietnam’s export mix were Colombia at 2.9 percent; Mexico, 6 percent; Brazil, 6.1 percent, the Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN), 7.4 percent and all others, 31.2 percent.
World pangasius production is estimated at 1.25 million metric tons in 2012, with slight decreases expected this year, according to 2012 Groundfish Forum data. Vietnam produces the lion’s share of the world’s pangasius supply. In 2012, Vietnam exported more than 227 million pounds of pangasius to the United States.