Seafood exports see fresh challenges

Vietnam’s target of exporting US$6.7 billion worth of seafood this year faces hurdles with Japan and the EU tightening hygiene norms for its shrimp products and the US hiking anti-dumping tax on tra fish.

Farmers harvest shrimp in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang (Photo: SGGP)

Japan and the EU have raised the quality bar for Vietnamese shrimp after a number of consignments were found with antibiotic residue exceeding permissible levels, according to exporters in the Mekong Delta.

The US Department of Commerce recently abolished anti-dumping tax on tra for Vietnam’s Vinh Hoan Company but increased the rate from $0.42 a kilogram to $1.2 for other voluntary respondents.

As a result of the actions shrimp and tra prices have plummeted in the delta. Many farmers, who are struggling to break even,  have stopped farming these creatures.

The US and EU are the two largest export markets for Vietnamese tra fish. Even as the US increased the anti-dumping tax, exports to the latter, especially Eastern Europe, too have not been encouraging.

Tra fish prices reduce in the Mekong Delta (Photo: SGGP)

But the Directorate of Fisheries has continued to prompt breeders to improve tra fish quality.

VietGap quality standards are widely used in farms while many others have obtained other quality certification like Global Gap, ASC, and BAP.

Seafood exports were worth $2.7 billion in the first five months this year, an increase of 25 percent over the same period last year.

By Huynh Phuoc Loi – Translated by Hai Mien

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