Tilapia in Vietnam
As early as the 1950s tilapia was introduced as a production species in Vietnam. Until recently farming mainly targeted the domestic market. However, in recent years tilapia has gained more attention as Vietnamese producers have found a niche market, situated between the higher-end suppliers like Indonesia, and the lower quality products provided by Chinese companies.
In the year 2011 adverse publicity in European countries resulted in poor sales of pangasius. As it was increasingly difficult for producers and farmers to get investment capital for pangasius, they had to look for alternatives. Tilapia was the preferred alternative for many, as it overlaps
pangasius in many ways; be it in terms of production systems, feed inputs or buyer markets. Export-oriented tilapia production in Vietnam is therefore mainly driven by large companies that have many years of experience with pangasius. Examples of these companies are Hoang Long, NTACO and Vinh Hoan. Vietnam is an attractive source for tilapia products thanks to a number of favourable factors, including many years of experience with pangasius production, an excellent infrastructure (from feed mills to farms and factories), very high production and compliance to food safety standards.
Until about 2010 the exports of tilapia earned less than 2 million US$ yearly. From 2011 to 2012 this number doubled. In the following year exports doubled again. In 2014 some sort of a boom could be recognized in exported products. In only four years, tilapia exports increased from 2.5 million US$ to 35.7 million US$ in 2015, although exports have dropped again in 2016 and 2017 to US$ 27 million and US$ 25 million respectively. At the moment there is only one processing and exporting company of tilapia which is shown on the map. You can find this company profile in our STIP supplier database.