Shrimp and catfish prices escalate

Tiger shrimp and tra catfish prices have reached an all time high in the Mekong Delta region after Tet (Lunar New Year).

Farmer in Mekong Delta holding his shrimp catch (Photo: SGGP)

Bac Lieu Province on February 9 saw 20 shrimps weighing one kilogram going for VND250,000-260,000, 30 shrimps weighing one kilogram for VND190,000-200,000 and 40 shrimps weighing a kilogram for VND150,000-160,000.
 
Despite the soaring price hike, shrimp breeders had no shrimps to sell as now is not the season nor has the fish harvest been plentiful this year.
 
Meanwhile the price of tra catfish has risen continually in An Giang, Dong Thap and Vinh Long provinces.
 
Seafood companies currently buy fish directly from farmers at a minimum price of VND24, 000 per kilogram, a price which has been the highest ever.  
 
The shortage of shrimp and tra has raised concern amongst seafood exporters as they face difficulty in completing their export orders.
 
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, the high prices are not wholly to blame as farmers have yet to breed shrimps and tra catfish in a more systematic and sustainable way, balancing both their loans as well as consumption demands of the market.
 
The General Fishery Department has reported that exports of aquatic products reached US$320 million in January, showing a 2.3 percent increase from the same period last year.

The US remained Vietnam’s largest aquatic products importer, followed by Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Germany and Spain.

Trade insiders believe that Vietnam is hopeful of earning a record high of US$5 billion from export of aquatic products this year as world demand grows and supplies from several countries show signs of diminishing.

By staff writers – Translated by Hoang Yen

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