Vietnam is the top supplier of whitemeat fish to Colombia for over a decade

( According to data from Vietnam Customs, in the first half of May 2024, Vietnam's pangasius exports to Colombia reached nearly USD 1.6 million, up 140% compared to the same period last year. As of May 15, 2024, cumulative pangasius exports to this market reached USD 16 million, up 34% compared to the same period in 2023.

According to ITC data, Colombia mainly consumes frozen pangasius products (HS code 030424), frozen tilapia HS code 030461, frozen pangasius fillets HS code 030462, etc. In 2023, this South American country consumed nearly USD 50 million of white meat fish, of which the import volume from Vietnam (mainly pangasius) reached nearly 24,000 tons, worth over USD 33 million, accounting for 66% of the market share. Following Vietnam, China, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela are also the largest suppliers of white meat fish to the Colombian market.

Since 2012, Vietnam has continued to be Colombia's primary supplier of white meat fish, according to ITC. Over the course of the previous 11 years, the South American nation has also continued to steadily grow its imports of white meat fish, primarily pangasius, from Vietnam. Colombia consumed more white meat fish products from Vietnam in 2014 than any other country in the race to export white meat fish to this market, with a value of over USD 48 million, or 96% of the market share.

With a value of around USD 45 million, 2022 was also a significant year for Colombia's imports of white meat fish from Vietnam, which made up 90% of all the white flesh fish this nation imported worldwide. One of the reasons Vietnamese pangasius was not appealing to Vietnamese enterprises in 2019 was its poor export price to Colombia. In 2019, the number of companies involved in the export of pangasius to Colombia was typically limited to 4. By the end of May 2024, five years later, 16 Vietnamese companies were exporting pangasius to Colombia. Colombia's economy suffered greatly after COVID-19, with approximately 50% of the population living in poverty, high inflation, and growing living and consumption expenses.

Colombia is the fourth largest economy in Latin America and a leading freshwater aquaculture country in South America with strong tilapia products. However, Colombia has maintained stable imports of frozen pangasius products from Vietnam. With the advantage of being a delicious, nutritious white meat fish, rich in Omega 3, and affordable, pangasius is a popular choice for Colombian consumers. For the past 10 years, Colombian consumers have maintained a diet that includes white meat fish (mainly pangasius) from Vietnam. The high demand has also made importers in this South American country long-term partners of Vietnamese pangasius exporters for over a decade.


Ms Thu Hang


Tel: +84.24.3771.5055 (ext. 214)

  • Detail-Right-Top