By Louis Harkell
Thursday, September 12, 2019, 11:10 BST
Fresh Pangasius Fillets. Credit: Tiger Images/Shutterstock.com
China has banned 15 Vietnamese seafood companies from exporting to the country. The bans follow "temporary suspensions" of export approval for shrimp units of Ecuador's two largest shrimp exporters.
In a notice dated Sept. 6, China's General Administration of Customs said trading arms of two Vietnamese pangasius processors -- An Giang Fisheries Import-Export Joint Stock Company, and Thuan An Production Trading and Service Co.- Thuan An III Enterprise of Aquatic Processing and Exporting (Agifish and Tafishco) -- are no longer permitted to export to China.
Also on the list are 13 Vietnamese companies identified by a Chinese seafood industry publication as exporters of shrimp.
The notice -- filed under the title List of Fishery Products Establishments Registered to P.R. China -- provides no reason for the bans.
According to Agifish's website, 25% of its pangasius products is exported to Asian countries. Otherwise, the banned firms are "not main suppliers of pangasius into China", said Chinese publication Seafood Guide.
At 2018's Vietfish event several sources told Undercurrent News Chinese demand for pangasius was booming, helping to prop up the high prices and spurring many to cater to that market. A dependence on that market was a risk though, they said; “if China gets picky about something, or decides it wants to pay less, then they just stop buying and prices will dive”.
Such an eventuality came to pass in 2019, with China passing new regulations over trade and cracking down on the more “informal” trade routes, which saw importers trucking pangasius back over the border from Vietnam.
“The new regulations on sales to China mean most pangasius is now sold to processors, which then sell to China, rather than the direct border trade of before,” said one source, closely familiar with farmers in the Mekong Delta.
Seafood Guide described the current seafood trade between China and Vietnam as "relatively normal".
The bans follow China's temporary suspension of export approval of two shrimp units of Industrial Persquera Santa Priscila and Omarsa, Ecuador's two largest shrimp companies. Also announced on Sept. 6, the two companies export close to $1 billion worth of shrimp annually with the majority shipped to China.
Vietnam's Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers did not respond to a request for comment from Undercurrent in time for publication.
List of Vietnamese companies banned from exporting seafood to China:
- Thuan An Production Trading and Service Co., LTD- Thuan An III Enterprise of Aquatic Processing and Exporting (TAFISHCO)
- An Giang Fisheries Import - Export Joint Stock Company, Factory 8 (AGIFISH Co.)
- Global Blue Ocean Import - Export Joint Stock Company (GLOCEAN BLUE)
- Sao Bien Seafood Joint Stock Company (SACOIMEX)
- K&K Aquafish Imex company limited
- Thanh Phuong Minh Nhat Co., Ltd
- BINH MINH FISH CORPORATION (BMF)
- Bac Lieu Fisheries joint stock Company - Ganh Hao Branch
- An Khang Co., Ltd
- PHUONG NAM FOODSTUFF CORPORATION (PHUONG NAM FOODSTUFF CORP)
- Hai Phu Company Limited (HAI PHU CO.,LTD)
- PHI LONG SERVICE- TRADING- IMPORT EXPORT COMPANY LIMITED
- QUOC HAI FACTORY
- Thanh Tri seafood processing company limited (TSF Co., Ltd.)
- VIET NAM JUST FISH CO.,LTD