The US has released a list of eligible catfish exporters from four countries, including Vietnam.
The US has released a list of catfish exporters from four countries, including Vietnam, who are permitted to export their products to the country.
Twenty three exporters from Vietnam, 19 from China, 13 from Myanmar, and seven from Thailand are now eligible to export their catfish to the US, according to the website of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), fsis.usda.gov.
From March 1 the inspection program on catfish will begin an 18-month transitional period for both domestic and international producers, with all catfish to fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of FSIS and be no longer regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
During the 18-month transitional period FSIS will re-inspect and conduct species and residue sampling on imported catfish shipments at least quarterly at US import establishments on a random basis.
Countries wishing to continue exporting products to the US after the transitional period must apply for an equivalency determination.
Applications for equivalency must be completed by the end of the 18-month transitional period, or September 1, 2017. FSIS will assist countries with their applications.
According to the General Department of Customs, Vietnam exported 11,770 tonnes of tra catfish to the US in January, earning $32.4 million, for year-on-year increases of 24.5 per cent in volume and 4.1 per cent in value.
Lack of supply
Vietnam’s tra fish industry will experience a lack of supply for processing until 2017 and that will have an effect on exports this year.
Mr. Duong Ngoc Minh, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that all factories processing tra fish require 3,500 tonnes per day. At present, however, all available sources meet just 70 per cent of demand and the volume will fall further over the next few months, he said. The supply of tra fish was expected to meet 50 per cent of demand, or 1,700 tonnes, from June 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.
The lack of supply was due to a reduction in tra fish production last year, he said. This came from a shortage of funds for production among enterprises and disinterest among banks in providing loans for production. Since the farmers did not receive sustainable cooperation in consumption they decided to raise other kinds of fish products to earn higher profits.
Vietnam’s tra fish products are exported to 80 countries and territories around the world but the lack of supply will mean the industry can only meet demand in three major markets - the US, Europe, and China.
The country will therefore find it difficult to reach its target of $1.7 billion in tra fish exports this year, Mr. Minh said.
Importers know there is a lack of tra fish for processing so have bolstered imports at the moment to avoid higher prices as the year goes on. The price of tra fish and its export price are expected to increase in the future, cafef.vn has reported.
Local enterprises and farmers must follow developments in the local tra fish market to seize opportunities to push up prices, Mr. Minh added.
To address these issues, the tra fish industry needs a specific strategy to ensure output of 1.2 million to 1.4 million tonnes for export processing, including policies on credit, increasing quality, and cooperation between farmers and processors, to ensure consumption and production in the long term, according to Mr. Minh.
Enterprises Eligible to Export to US
1/ Workshop 3 - Vinh Hoan Corporation (VINH HOAN CORP)
2/ Workshop 1 - Vinh Hoan Corporation (VINH HOAN CORP)
3/ Workshop 2 - Vinh Hoan Corporation (VINH HOAN CORP)
4/ Bien Dong Seafood Co., Ltd
5/ GOLDENQUALITY SEAFOOD CORPORATION (GOLDENQUALITY)
6/ Van Duc Tien Giang Food Export Company
7/ Southern Fishery Industries Company Ltd. (SOUTHVINA)
8/ NTSF Seafood Joint Stock Company (NTSF SEAFOODS)
9/ CADOVIMEX II Freezing Factory No.1 - CADOVIMEX II Seafood Import - Export and Processing Joint Stock Company
10/ Thuan An Production Trading and Service Co., LTD - Thuan An III Enterprise of Aquatic Processing and Exporting (SONASEAFOOD)
11/ Tan Thanh Loi Frozen Food Co. Ltd
12/ Ben Tre Aquaproduct Import and Export Joint Stock Company (AQUATEX BENTRE)
13/ Viet Phu Foods & Fish Corporation (VIET PHU FOODS AND FISH CORP)
14/ Asia Commerce Fisheries JSC (ACOMFISH)
15/ C.P. Vietnam Corporation – Ben Tre Frozen Branch
16/ Hung Vuong Corporation (HV Corp.)
17/ An Giang Fisheries Import - Export Joint Stock Company, Factory 7 (AGIFISH CO.)
18/ An Giang Fisheries Import - Export Joint Stock Company, Factory 8 (AGIFISH CO.)
19/ Frozen Factory AGF 9
20/ Agifish Food Processing Factory
21/ Hung Vuong Corporation (HV Corp.) - Workshop II
22/ Europe Joint Stock Company (EJS CO.)
23/ GEMPIMEX 404 Company