Photo for illustration (Source: VNA)

With the number, China and Hong Kong have surpassed the EU to become Vietnam’s second largest tra fish market for the first time, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The strong export to China was recorded in the context that Vietnamese tra fish exporters are facing multiple difficulties in other markets like the US, the EU, ASEAN and Mexico.

Of note, Vietnam’s tra fish exports to the EU and Mexico contracted by 6.9 percent and 14.3 percent in the January-September period.

However, the rapid growth in China and Hong Kong has raised remarkable concerns as China’s real demand is not too big. In fact, a large amount of tra fish is being stockpiled in the country.

According to VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hue, during the first months of this year, many Chinese traders ordered and purchased fish, each weighing over 1kg, with high prices, prompting many local farmers to raise their productivity and refuse to sell fish to factories in Mekong Delta.

As a result, after Chinese traders unexpectedly reduced their trading volumes in July, the prices of tra fish sharply dropped, causing losses for local farmers.

Therefore, many major Vietnamese tra fish exporters have not paid attention to the Chinese market despite its attractiveness.

Nguyen Van Ky, General Director of Agifish, said his company has turned its eyes towards other markets but not China which is unstable and has potential risks in the context of difficulties in the US market.

VASEP forecasted that tra fish exports to China will not experience such a “hot rise” in the time ahead, suggesting local firms to think twice before penetrating the market./.