Seafood export plummeting, unlikely to meet target

Businesses have raised concerns over tumble seafood export value in the first nine months that would make this year target of US$8 billion export turnover likely unobtainable.

Mekong Delta shrimp breeders have been hit by low prices and diseases (Photo: SGGP)

The export condition will improve from now until this yearend but without significant increase, they said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development yesterday reported that seafood businesses earned only US$541 million in September taking the total export value to nearly US$4.7 billion in the first nine months this year, down 17.8 percent over the same period last year.

In the nine months, export turnover fell against a year ago in most key export markets of Vietnam including the U.S. with a reduction of 30 percent and Japan with 11 percent.

Export deceleration has raised difficulties to local seafood processing firms and shrimp and tra fish breeders.

Shrimp breeder Le Van Tu from Binh Dai district, Ben Tre province said prices were much lower than the same period in previous years.

Adding to the woe, diseases have hit and killed many shrimp ponds. Mr. Tu’s family has lost over VND500 million (US$22,400) since early this year.

Mr. Le Van Hung from Dong Hai district, Bac Lieu said that 80 percent of shrimp breeders in the district has undergone losses because of diseases and many have abandoned their ponds.

Tra fish farming has been gloomy Dong Thap, Vinh Long, An Giang provinces and Can Tho city with price swigging from VND19,500-20,500 a kilogram, incurring losses or breaking even.

By Ngoc Dan – Translated by Hai Mien

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