In the first 8 months of 2022, catfish exports to the UK market reached 47 million USD, up 28% compared to the same period last year.
According to the Vietnam Fisheries Processing and Export Association, the UK is in the Top 10 seafood import markets of Vietnam, accounting for 3% of the value of seafood exports. In the first 8 months of 2022, seafood exports to the UK increased by 3.5% to reach 213 million USD.
In August alone, catfish exports to the UK market more than tripled compared to the same period last year, reaching over 7 million USD. Cumulatively in the first 8 months of the year, catfish exports to the UK reached nearly 47 million USD, up 28% compared to the same period last year. Of which, frozen cut/fillet catfish products accounted for 79%, processed catfish accounted for 17%, and the rest were the whole catfish accounted for 4%.
It is forecast that catfish exports to the UK in 2022 will increase by 30%. (Photo: Internet)
Inflation in the UK is at a high record of 40 years and almost the highest in European countries, so consumption of high-priced food items is limited. As a result, exports of shrimp, tuna, and some sea fishes to the UK declined strongly.
Meanwhile, catfish exports have been growing because of their reasonable prices, moreover, the UK suffers from a shortage of white meat fish due to the seafood ban from Russia. So, catfish becomes a substitute fish in the UK market, especially its popular fish & chip products.
The Vietnam Seafood Processing and Export Association forecasts that seafood exports to the UK in the last months of the year are showing more positive signals than at the beginning of the year, especially with items such as catfish recovering strongly. With the current favorable growth momentum, it is expected that catfish exports to the UK will reach about 67 million USD in 2022, up 30% compared to 2021.
Regarding tariff advantages, with the UKVFTA Agreement, Vietnam’s seafood exports to the UK continue to enjoy incentives based on the continuation mechanism of the Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). That means catfish enjoy a 0% tax after 3 years. At that time, this product is almost imported into the UK at 0% duty.
As can be seen, the UK market potential for Vietnamese catfish is large. To make the most of the advantages of UKVFTA, seafood processing and exporting enterprises in general and the catfish industry, in particular, should actively prepare capacity and supply, improve competitiveness, production, and business capacity, and apply science and technology to increase the value of seafood products.
Enterprises need to strictly comply with regulations on traceability; inspect and supervise the use of antibiotics in production and processing; quarantine aquatic products, and ensure food safety and hygiene to have high-quality products, meeting the requirements of importing countries.
In addition, enterprises need to improve their social responsibility and pay attention to the sustainable development issues mentioned in UKVFTA and the new generation of free trade agreements.