Tra fish prices hit 10-year low

Monday, Jul 29, 2019 22:53

Processing tra fish for export at Cần Thơ Seafood Import-Export Joint Stock Company. Prices of tra fish have dropped to their lowest levels in the past 10 years. — VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

Prices of tra fish have dropped to the lowest level in 10 years due to export difficulties, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agricultural Market Development and Processing Department.

In June, the wholesale price for tra fish in the Mekong Delta fell by about VND2,000 per kilogramme from the previous month to VND22,000-23,000 per kilo for type one tra fish (with each fish weighing 800-900g).

The price has decreased by nearly VND16,000 per kilo year on year and about VND10,000 per kilo from the beginning of this year.

Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Producers (VASEP) said that higher prices in the second half of 2018 led people who raise the fish to develop larger rearing areas.

Prices showed signs of falling at the start of this year but farmers and businesses still managed to collect big profits in the first quarter of the year, he said.

However, since the start of the second quarter, prices have been declining sharply as supply grows, cutting into profits for farmers and exporters.

Lower demand for tra fish fingerlings also led to a massive decrease in prices of fingerlings, from VND60,000-65,000 per 30-unit kilo at the end of 2018 to VND18,000-20,000 now.

Duong Nghia Quoc, chairman of the Viet Nam Pangasius Association, said a strong decrease in exports to the US contributed to the falling prices.

More stringent technical requirements in China and higher tariffs on exports to the US have led to lower tra fish exports and higher inventories, according to the association.

According to experts, this situation is also due to the lack of effective links between farmers and businesses, which would help form a sustainable production chain and keep prices stable.

In the first six months of the year, the total export value of Vietnamese tra fish to the China - Hong Kong market reached US$254.3 million, up 1.2 per cent year on year – constituting lower growth than expected – accounting for 26.4 per cent of the national total tra fish export value.

Meanwhile, tra fish exports to the US reached $141.9 million, down 27.9 per cent compared to the same period last year. The decline was especially pronounced in June was a strong fall of 40.8 per cent.

By the end of June, the total export value of tra fish for the year so far was $961.6 million, down 4.1 per cent over the same period of last year.

According to VASEP, in the third quarter, tra fish exports to the EU are expected to maintain the same growth rate as the first two quarters. Preferential tariffs under the European Union and Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will create opportunities for Viet Nam to grow its fish exports to the market, according to VASEP. — VNS

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