Vietnamese Pangasius Keeps Wagging Its Tail to Go Far

10:31:26 AM | 1/20/2022

Although the ongoing Covid pandemic blocked the way, Vietnam’s pangasius export value was estimated at US$1.54 billion in 2021, up 3% over 2020, according to the Vietnam Pangasius Association (Vinapa). The improved export resulted from higher demand for pangasius in some major markets in the last months of the year. China alone accounted for 28% of Vietnam's pangasius exports.

IDI is busy with orders from the South American market

In the third and fourth quarters of 2021, the United States increased its pangasius imports by nearly 50%, thus offsetting a significant decrease in some other markets. Many companies were particularly big winners in South America where IDI accounted for 28% of the market share when Mexico and Brazil rushed to import the product after the epidemic was controlled.

Very valuable nutrition makes pangasius the liking of Western customers. It is rich in totally natural Omega 3, 6,9, DHA, protein, vitamin A and vitamin E. pangasius is believed to be good for human health because unsaturated fatty acids have a very good antibacterial effect. This is even more practical in the fight against Covid-19 and its variants that are threatening human life.

IDI President (second from left) meets Western customers on the nutrition of Vietnamese pangasius

Successful people always go their own way

Mr. Huynh Van Hoa, who lives in Tan Loc Ward, Thot Not District, Can Tho City, said, pangasius farmers faced a lot of difficulties in 2021 when exports were disrupted by the raging Covid and seafood businesses were suffered by increased logistics costs. Therefore, they reduced buying pangasius, resulting in supply-demand imbalance.

The selling price of fresh pangasius was VND17,000 - 18,000 per kilo, lower than the production cost, but the buying demand was very weak, leading thousands of farming households in the Mekong Delta to the brink of bankruptcy. However, like many other farmers, he was lucky enough to have business cooperation with IDI Company for many years because the company pledged to purchase all they produced at their agreed prices.

Vietnamese pangasius keeps wagging its tail to swim far

For its part, IDI managed to capture opportunities in this tough social distancing time. While keeping a reputation with farmers in the associated farming area, IDI also helped purchase all cheap fresh fish from noncontractual households to increase its stockpiles worth up to VND1,400 billion. Abundant and diversified product range helped IDI flexibly receive many orders from its peers hard hit by input supply crisis and lack of empty containers for timely delivery as contracted.

To go far, go together

IDI-farmer cooperation, initiated 12 years ago and tested through the stressful pandemic, is a lesson for learning and scaleup.

After the crisis, Vietnam's pangasius industry is coming to a new age with new goals to be achieved. Leaders of the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development of An Giang and Dong Thap provinces said that the pangasius industry needs to be restored and developed to make up for missed opportunities during the 4.5-month social distancing launched to prevent epidemic contagion. To do so, it is imperative to conduct a comprehensive restructuring, focused on building and developing production and consumption chains, strengthening regional connectivity, fostering digital application to production, and reducing production costs and improving value-added products.

With a total expected output of up to 910,000 tons, about 4% more than in 2020, the pangasius industry in An Giang and Dong Thap provinces has risen to lead pangasius production and export, even large companies with owned and associated farming areas.

Farming households who associate with IDI Company are eager for a new farming year

“Localities need to look in the same direction and link together from production, processing to export. The consensus of companies is very important to recover the pangasius industry and rebound after the epidemic,” Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan emphasized.

By Hai Yen, Vietnam Business Forum