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Vietnamese pangasius exports to Japan up slightly. In 2019, for the first time, Japan entered the top 10 largest pangasius importers of Vietnamese companies. In the first quarter of 2019, pangasius export value to this market grew very positively from 31.6 to 98.5% over the same period in 2018, reports the Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

However, in the second quarter, the export value decreased in several months, resulting in declining in the general growth. By the end of September 2019, export growth increased by only 2.6%. But up to this point, it can be said that Japan is a new and potential market for Vietnamese pangasius.

In the first 9 months of 2019, pangasius enterprises in Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Can Tho and Ben Tre focused on exports this product to Japan. In addition to the traditional frozen pangasius fillet products, businesses also diversified a wide range of items such as frozen pangasius fillet slices.

According to the latest statistics of ITC, in the first 8 months of 2019, Japan continued to increase imports of white fish, of which Alaska pollock product (HS code 030475 – 94) accounted for a large proportion, from 60 – 92% of total imports, followed by frozen pangasius fillet products (HS code 030462). In particular, Vietnam was the third largest supplier of white fish products for Japan (after the US and Russia). Japan also imported many Alaska pollock and cod products from the US and Russia.

Japanese importers are still continuing the exploration of Vietnam’s pangasius market to supplant some traditional but high-price seafood products (such as eels) in this country. Vietnamese pangasius enterprises are also in the period of “exploring” this market, so they are gradually grasping the tastes of consumers and importers. In the time to come, Japan will be a potential market for export expansion. However, due to the continuous decrease in export value in the second and third quarters, it is forecasted that in 2019, the total export value of pangasius to Japan shall increase by only 5-7% compared to the same period in 2018.