Tra prices have shot up in the Mekong Delta as supply struggles to meet demand after farmers, hit by severe losses last year, stopped breeding the catfish.
|Processing tra catfish for export at Nam Viet factory in An Giang Province (Photo: SGGP)|
On February 10, manufacturers bought top quality tra from farmers at VND15,000-16,000 a kilogram, and the next best quality VND13,000-14,000, both up VND1,500-2,500 from the end of last year.
While demand is sharply up at factories processing catfish for export, farmers do not have much stock.
After the crippling losses in 2008, the Mekong Delta Fisheries Association reported, 40-50 percent of catfish farms have gone out of business.
Catfish output is expected to drop by 40-50 percent as a result.
Vietnam exports tra to 107 countries and territories and the catfish has become a key seafood export for the country.
The delta’s tra exports are estimated to increase by an average of 5.9 percent a year to US$1.5 billion by 2010 and $2.3 billion by 2020.