Tra fish breeders stricken with price plunge in Mekong Delta

Tra fish prices have plunged causing heavy losses to breeders in the Mekong Delta for the last couple of days, said An Giang Seafood Farming and Processing Association on Sunday.

Vietnam has 23 tra fish processing plants eligible to export to the US (Photo: SGGP)

Oversized type weighing 1.2-1.5 kilogram a fish has been paid only VND17,400-18,000 a kilogram, resulting in farmers’ loss of VND4,000-5,000. With such a low price, they have still been unsalable.

Meantime the price of fish weighing 0.8-1 kilogram has slightly increased from VND19,000 in February to VND20,000 now. However breeders undergo a loss of VND2,000 a kilogram.

Businesses said that export difficulties and demand reduction from EU market have resulted in price drop and slow consumption.

The years-long price fall has caused heavy losses and many households stop breeding and transfer into farming other fish, lamented breeder Chuong Van Khanh in Can Tho.

It is forecast that a severe supply shortage will occur in the third and fourth quarters this year. Production recovery will be difficult because breeders have run out of capital and incurred debts.

In related news, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has updated the list of companies from four nations including Vietnam, China, Myanmar and Thailand who are eligible to export to US market under the country’s inspection program for Siluriformes fish, reported the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

Vietnam has 23 plants entitled to export to the US, China has 19, Myanmar 13 and Thailand 7 plants.

According to the inspection program, supervision to all Siluriformes fish products including Vietnamese tra fish comes within the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) instead of the Food and Drug Administration as before.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development expects to be worked with USDA to organize an international seminar on the program in HCMC by next month.

By Huynh Loi – Translated by Hai Mien

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