Vietnam tilapia exports to rise rapidly

Published on
September 19, 2016

Tilapia exports from Vietnam are expected to increase rapidly this year, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), as reported in Vietnam News.

VASEP said that tilapia exports might record revenues of USD 45 million (EUR 40 million) for the full year, rising by 32 percent over 2015, and added that the trend would continue in coming years.

Import markets for Vietnamese tilapia expanded significantly in the past decade, from just five in 2005 to 68, with the U.S.A., Colombia and the European Union being the three largest importers, with Africa and South America poised as secondary markets with strong potential, VASEP said.

Around 23 percent of the tilapia exported from Vietnam was shipped to the U.S., its largest importer. Vietnam is currently the third largest exporter of tilapia to the U.S., according to VASEP, with a share of 10 percent, after mainland China and Taiwan.

Vietnamese tilapia exports to the U.S. were worth more than USD 2 million (EUR 1.8 million) in the first half of this year, tripling from the same period last year.

Although tilapia accounted for a modest percentage in the country’s fishery exports, its room for growth and becoming a major fishery export product was high and forecasts were positive.

Nguyễn Bá Sơn, from Vietnam’s Directorate of Fisheries, said the country was planning to develop tilapia into a major fishery given the country’s advantages in raising this type of fish, and anticipated high demand at home and globally.

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issued a decree for raising tilapia from 2020 through to 2030. The aim is to achieve an output of around 300,000 metric tons (tonnes) by 2020, 50 to 60 percent of which are to meet export criteria. In addition, instructions to apply VietGap production standards were also issued in order to ensure quality.

As of the end of 2015, tilapia farming areas totaled more than 25,700 hectares in Vietnam with an output of 187,000 metric tonnes.

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