(seafood.vasep.com.vn) Just rising 16.3% in February 2020, pangasius export value to ASEAN decreased sharply in March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries in the region suspend commercial transactions to contain the disease.
By the end of March 2020, the total export value of pangasius to the ASEAN market reached US$ 39.3 million, down 28.8% compared to the same period in 2019. Exports to the three largest importers all declined, in which exports to Thailand dipped by 23.4%; exports to Malaysia, and Singapore fell by 22% and 27% respectively.
In March 2020, many countries in the region such as Malaysia; The Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore imposed lockdown measures, including restrictions on travel across the country, the shutdown of unnecessary services, and a ban on crowds leading to a prolonged decline in domestic demand. This also has a strong impact on the import and export activities of these countries. In March 2020, the export value of pangasius to the region was only US$ 12.7 million, down US$ 42.8 million. Thailand was still the largest pangasius importer of ASEAN region, but exports to this market plunged by 43.5% in value compared to the same period in 2019.
The demand for pangasius in the region in Q1 was forecasted to remain good and stable compared to the same period in 2019. However, the sudden closure due to the pandemic caused trade activity to be affected. In the first quarter of 2020, Vietnam exported quite a variety of pangasius products to Thailand market such as frozen pangasius fillets, frozen cube pangasius, frozen whole pangasius, pangasius cut pieces… In particular, dried pangasius bubble products exported with an average price from US$12.1 to US$16/kg.
In the first three months of 2020, along with the EU, ASEAN was a region severely economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the level of export decline in value to this market was still lower than that of the EU. So far, ASEAN has been still the third-largest importer of Vietnam pangasius enterprises (after China – Hong Kong and the US).
Like other big potential markets, it is difficult to make an accurate forecast for pangasius exports to ASEAN in the second quarter of 2020, only when the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, the socio-economic activities of countries are stable, there will have opportunities for enterprises to continue to boost exports to this market. However, this is still a potential market for enterprises after COVID-19.