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Brazil Bans Import of Vietnamese Tilapia: Impact on Businesses

Click on the flag for more information about Viet Nam VIET NAM
Wednesday, February 28, 2024, 07:00 (GMT + 9)

Recently, Brazil officially stopped importing tilapia products from Vietnam from February 14, 2024 until there is a conclusion on reviewing the risk of disease caused by TiLV virus according to Decision No. 270 dated February 9, 2024 of the Government. Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAPA). This decision creates challenges that Vietnamese businesses need to anticipate.

The export market of Vietnamese tilapia to other markets in the past 5 years has tended to decrease. In 2023, Vietnamese tilapia exports to markets will reach more than 6 million USD, down 42% compared to 2022 and down 70% compared to 2019.

Source: Vasep

In particular, the US has continuously maintained the largest consumption market for Vietnamese tilapia for 4 consecutive years since 2019. However, in 2023, tilapia exports to the US decreased sharply and only reached nearly 1 million USD, down 71% compared to 2022 and down 75% compared to 2019. In the past 5 years, tilapia export turnover to the US recorded the highest value of more than 7 million USD in 2021, an increase 2.5 times higher than in 2020.

Besides the US, some other countries such as the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, Korea, and Thailand are the largest importers of tilapia from Vietnam. In 2023, tilapia exports will reach more than 6 million USD to markets. The EU alone is the largest consuming market, with 2 million USD of which, the Netherlands contributes nearly half of the total export of Vietnamese tilapia to the EU. Next is the US market.

Source: Stockfile FIS 

Brazil recently issued a notice to stop importing tilapia products from Vietnam due to concerns about a virus that causes disease in this fish. However, the export turnover of Vietnamese tilapia to Brazil is not much. According to statistics by Vietnam Customs, tilapia exports to Brazil in the past 5 consecutive years have been almost non-existent. Brazil mainly imports pangasius from Vietnam. Up to 90% of the seafood products this country buys from Vietnam are pangasius. Therefore, the impact of Brazil's decision to stop importing Vietnamese tilapia does not affect Vietnamese businesses too much. However, this can be considered an initial barrier for Vietnamese tilapia products, and could move forward to other seafood products in the Brazilian market such as pangasius. Businesses need to be more careful about choosing breeds as well as controlling diseases for not only tilapia but also whitefish, including pangasius.

Source: Stockfile FIS 

After the order to stop importing tilapia to this South American country, businesses can change their market direction. Frozen tilapia is a favorite product of American consumers. However, it is difficult for Vietnamese tilapia in the US to compete with Chinese tilapia, because Vietnam's average price is much higher despite a decreasing trend. China is the world's largest source of tilapia and is also the largest source for the US.

Author: Thu Hang | Vasep (Translated from the original in Vietnamese)

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