Farmers gain as tra fish prices soar 20-year peak

Friday, Jan 05, 2018 10:00

Hung Ca Company Limited in Dong Thap Province’s Thanh Binh District specialises in raising and processing tra fish that is exported to Europe, the US, Africa and Asia. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

The price of tra fish in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has risen to its highest price over the last 20 years, leading to high profits for local farmers.

With the price at VND27,000-29,000 (US$1.2 – 1.3) a kilo last month, farmers earned a profit of VND4,000 – 6,000 a kilo, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Fisheries.

In previous years, tra fish farmers faced low prices and sales.

However, last year, farmers made a good profit because of the high price and many sales, according to a representative of the Chau Thanh District Tra Fish Breeding Co-operative in Dong Thap Province.

The price of tra fish often falls in December because exporters normally complete their export contracts during that month.

Ho Kim Thoa, a tra fish farmer in Dong Thap Province’s Hong Ngu District, said this was the first time the price of tra fish had increased in December.

The price of tra fish is expected to remain high because the output in the Delta has not increased much and exports will continue to be strong.

Farmer Huynh Quang Khap in An Giang Province’s Chau Phu District said he had sold two ponds worth of tra fish at a price of VND28,500 a kilo.

“In recent years, the price of tra fish fluctuated, causing heavy losses for farmers. The price of tra fish increased, but not many farmers had fish to sell,” he said.

Nguyen Tan Phong, director of the Dai Thang Fisheries Co-operative in Hau Giang Province’s Nga Bay Town, said his co-operative had sold 200 tonnes of tra fish for VND28,500 a kilo.

The production cost of tra fish is about VND22,000 a kilo, he said.

Last year, the Delta had about 6,078 ha of tra fish with an output of 1.25 million tonnes, up 3.1 per cent in breeding areas and 5.4 per cent in output against the previous year.

Nguyen Van Cong, director of the Dong Thap Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province’s tra fish breeding area covered 1,500 ha with an output of 400,000 tonnes last year, leading the Delta in tra fish breeding.

Dong Thap has improved the quality of tra fish and called on farmers to cooperate with tra fish processors to breed the fish, he said.

More than 60 per cent of the province’s tra fish breeding area is bred under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards, he added. With these measures, most farmers and processors have made profits.

The country’s tra fish exports reached $1.8 billion last year, up 4 per cent against 2016, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

China, the US and the EU are the country’s largest tra fish importers. — VNS

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