In 2022, the catfish industry achieved impressive achievements in all three aspects: farming area, harvest output, and export value. It is estimated that in the whole year, the farming area increased by 104%, and harvest output increased by 103.5% compared to 2021. In particular, export turnover reached 2.4 billion USD, up 70% compared to the same period in 2021, surpassing the 2018 peak of 2.26 billion USD…

In the first catfish festival in 2022, on the afternoon of December 16, 2022, in Dong Thap province, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the People’s Committee of Dong Thap province held a conference “Summary of catfish industry in 2022 and solutions in 2023”.

A gratitude to the catfish at the catfish festival on the evening of Dec 16, 2022. (Photo: Internet)


According to the General Department of Seafood, the catfish farming area is about 5,700 ha (accounting for 0.44% of the seafood area in the whole country), concentrated in provinces and cities of the Mekong Delta. The seafood farming area is very small compared to the total area of seafood farming in the country. However, the production of catfish harvested accounts for 30% of the total production of seafood farming.

By the end of November 2022, the production of catfish harvest reached 1.526 million tonnes, up 4% compared to the same period in 2021. The export value reached 2.19 billion USD, up 66.9% compared to the same period last year.

The two dominant markets for catfish exports are China (accounting for 30%) and the US (23%). In addition to these markets, many other markets had good growth compared to the same period such as the EU, Thailand, Mexico, etc.  The demand for Vietnamese catfish in most markets increased from 40% to 200%. The average export price of catfish fillet increased by 28% – 66%.

“In 2022, the country is expected to export 1.68 million tonnes of catfish with export turnover of over 2.4 billion USD – the highest peak in the history of this industry. Catfish products are available in 134 countries including key markets such as China, the US, ASEAN, the EU, the UK, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia”.

Mr. Tran Dinh Luan, Director of the Seafood General Department said.

According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), the export price of catfish fillets increased from 28 to 66% compared to the same period in 2021, followed by the increase of raw catfish’s price. The purchase price of raw catfish is maintained at 27,000 – 29,000 VND/kg, even 30,000 – 31,000 VND/kg (about 7,000 – 10,000 VND/kg higher than average level compared to the same period in 2021). Enterprises and farming establishments participating in the production and consumption chain of catfish are profitable.

Speaking at the conference, Vice Chairman of Dong Thap Provincial People’s Committee Huynh Minh Tuan said: Dong Thap is the largest fish-producing province in the Mekong Delta, accounting for over 33% of the area and 34.8% of catfish production in the whole region. The share of seafood export turnover (catfish) of Dong Thap accounts for about 40% compared to the whole country and annual supply of about 60% of the breed for the Mekong Delta.

By November 2022, the accumulated area of catfish farming in Dong Thap province is estimated at 2,450 ha, reaching 111.3% of the plan, up 17.3% compared to the same period. The harvest output is 505,000 tonnes. Exports are estimated at 270,077 tonnes and the turnover is estimated at 847 million USD, up 31% in value compared to the same period in 2021. Catfish is the leader in the group of agricultural products exported by the province.

Vietnam’s catfish industry reached export records in 2022. (Photo: Internet)

In Dong Thap, there are 28 enterprises operating in the field of seafood processing (mainly frozen catfish fillet processing for export), with a total design capacity of over 500,000 tonnes/year, attracting more than 25,000 laborers.

“Dong Thap has selected catfish as one of the five main commodities of the province in the restructuring of the agricultural sector. The province has the plan to develop catfish in a sustainable and modern way based on the application of advanced science and technology to production and management to improve productivity, quality, efficiency, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation,” Mr. Huynh Minh Tuan emphasized./.