In January 2013, Vietnam made over USD 163.2 million from swai exports, up 40.7 per cent from January 2012. The European Union (EU) was the leading importer with USD 37.2 million in sales, up 17.4 percent and accounting for 22.8 percent of the market. Next came the US at USD 26.7 million in sales, up 31.3 per cent year-on-year and making up 16.3 percent of sales.

Most notably, European Union (EU) countries are gradually ordering greater amounts of Vietnamese swai after a long period of low demand, according to the Vietnam Association for Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The EU has been one of the main importers of Vietnamese Swai, largely because of the product’s relatively low price compared to that of seafood produced within the EU. Further, the export price of Vietnamese catfish to the EU has been growing along with consumer demand, as more and more Vietnamese seafood exporters have been able to satisfy EU standards for farmed swai in the past few years.

Five more Vietnamese swai producers and processors recently received the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) certification, bringing the number of ASC-certified Vietnamese firms to 13. These swai producers or breeders must meet certain criteria in the way they use land and water responsibly and minimising water pollution.

March 1st saw the creation of the Vietnam Tra Fish Association (VTFA), which was established as part of an effort to strengthen the swai sector’s development and growth. VTFA is working to achieve a swai output of 1.2 to 1.5 million tons by 2015, including 800,000 tons of Vietnamese catfish products destined for export and 150,000 tons for domestic consumption. The association will help defend farmers’ legitimate rights and encourage healthy and fair competition among them.

In 2012, Vietnam made USD 6.15 billion from all seafood exports, of which more than USD 1.74 billion originated from swai fish exports, according to data from the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

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