Archive for August, 2010

Vietnam seafood exports cross 2 billion USD in last 7 months

Monday, August 23rd, 2010
Vietnam’s seafood export turnover for the last seven months valued USD 2.45 billion or 11.6 percent higher than last year.  
The highest seafood export item from Vietnam is shrimp which registered a turnover of USD 717 million in seven months. Tra and basa fish exports next at USD 650 million showing a growth of 8.23 percent. The figure was released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The Ministry said that the European Union (EU) is still Vietnam’s biggest export market for seafood with a value of USD 512 million with Japan next at USD 371.6 million.In the first seven months Vietnam exported over 20,000 tonnes of tra and basa to Russia, a growth of over 2,000 tonnes year-on-year. Duong Ngoc Minh, head of the tra catfish export management board to Russia, said the export target of USD 100 million set for 2010 may be reached. Vietnam’s aquatic export turnover has burgeoned, however almost all export businesses have faced hardships as a result of a shortage of supplies and shrinkage of the spawning area of tra fish.Besides such good result of seafood exports Vietnam’s numerous seafood processing businesses in the Mekong River Delta region have been consequently forced to import materials. Apart from materials, companies have struggled with other high input costs, such as those of high interest rates, electricity, water, salaries, transportation and packaging. Further, although the price of shrimp has risen, that of other kinds of products has fallen.

MARD Deputy Minister Luong Le Phuong said seafood processing businesses ought to boost trade promotion in new markets. They are taking good part in seafood trade fairs which provides favourable opportunities to endorse Vietnam’s tra and basa fish industry and look for new partners in foreign markets.


Norwegian fish grasp US market

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Sale of Norwegian fish is taking the US market by storm and thus it registers a record seafood exports last year.  

There is no doubt that seafood of Norway has found a big market in US. Sales of Norwegian salmon to the US in particular have rocketed since the Chile salmon disease outbreak 18 months ago. In addition to this the oil spill in the Gulf also helps boost the sale of Norwegian seafood in US.

Now a foursome of Norwegian chefs, who call themselves The Flying Culinary Circus, remain loyal to their roots by using only Norwegian-imported seafood to create their culinary masterpieces are the latest hit across the Atlantic. This trend for Norwegian seafood is verified by the Norwegian Seafood Council’s Borge Gronbech, who says that fresh whole salmon and salmon filets are at Trond Svendgard, one of the fabled chefs in The Flying Culinary Circus, says that it is because “Norway has the coldest, clearest water in the world.”

The weather of Norway is perfect for harvesting seafood. With fishing in its culture for the past 6,000 years, Norwegians have learned how to take care of the coast and level of seafood. Gronbech added that Norway has a unique position with nearness to the resources, and relatively short distance to the markets.

It is found that Norwegian constantly and vigilantly focused on quality and food safety. The value of exported seafood from Norway in the first six months of this year reached NOK 24 billion kronas (around £2.4 billion sterling) , the highest export value ever for the period, according to the Export Council for Fish.


The Vietnam tuna export turnover increased

Friday, August 20th, 2010
U.S. and Canada, two stable customers of Vietnam tuna maintained a positive growing rate in overall volume and value since 2009.

Besides the U.S. and Canada, tuna exported to Japan, Taiwan, Israel is also growing strongly.

Specifically, tuan export to Japan reached more than 10 million, up over 100%, reaching over 1 million Taiwan dollars, going up 200% in both volume and value.

However, in contrast to other markets, export tuna to the EU (Germany, Belgium, Italy, etc) during this time has reduced. Moreover, export of tuna is also constantly being devalued by the influence of regulations by the EC
The business processing and export Vietnam said tuna exports to the EU in the coming period will also face with many difficulties and challenges when the certificate of seafood exploitation (CC license) has become travel tickets needed to Vietnam tuna to “set foot” in the EU.

To enhance the competitiveness of tuna Vietnam, Vietnam Association of Fisheries is conducting an organzation to set up surveillance and protection of ocean tuna fishing.

Source: Vietnam Plus

Chilean Salmon Industry Won’t Give Up

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010
CHILE – The once booming salmon industry in Chile is trying to get back on its feet after the devastating health crisis that cut production in half. But its long-term viability has been called into question.
“Salmon farming expanded quickly, without a regulatory framework or adequate controls to prevent and anticipate environmental problems or the development of transmittable fish diseases,” Carlos Chávez, an expert in environmental economy and natural resources at the University of Concepción, told Tierramérica.

Chile is second in the world in farmed salmon, after Norway, and specialises in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), as well as rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).

After introducing these exotic species in the 1980s, the industry here grew exponentially until mid-2007, when the infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) virus began to spread through the fish farms in the southern Chilean regions of Los Lagos, Aysén and Magallanes.

The virus forced producers to harvest the fish early and shut down operations in order to clear the waters. The fish farms hit bottom in January 2009.

According to industry estimates, in 2007 and 2008 Chile produced about 650,000 tonnes, while this year the yield is predicted to be between 250,000 and 300,000 tonnes. Of the 55,000 direct and indirect jobs in the sector during its best times, just 25,000 remain.

In 2009, revenues from Chile’s salmon exports reached 2.1 billion dollars, according to the National Customs Service. Nearly all the salmon produced in this country is exported.

“The situation is catastrophic — with former workers losing their homes, and no money to send their children to school or even to eat,” Javier Ugarte, president of the National Confederation of Salmon Workers, told Tierramérica.

According to data the National Fisheries Service provided to Tierramérica, in Los Lagos there are 283 fish farms in operation, 186 in Aysén, and 13 in Magallanes. The latest health report from the Service indicates that just eight farms are believed to currently have the ISA virus.

The response to the crisis was a reform of the 1991 Fishing and Aquaculture Law, which entered into force in April of this year to regulate — among other things — the permits, operation and duration of the concessions, momentarily putting the brakes on expansion of the industry in some regions.

“It is not an environmental protection law or one that benefits the workers. It’s a law to give viability to an industry in crisis, in order to support the salmon farm owners,” said the executive director of the environmental Terram Foundation, Flavia Liberona, who, nevertheless, admitted “some progress” for the environment and workers.

“In the long term, these reforms may generate better environmental and health conditions, because they provide more regulation and monitoring capacity. But how will it be implemented?” she wondered.

Environmentalists and artisanal fishers opposed the reform because it allows the salmon farms to mortgage their concessions in order to obtain bank credits. They warned that this means the “privatisation” of the sea, a national good that they argue is for public use.

The conservative government of President Sebastián Piñera, who took office Mar. 11, is working on the 15 regulations necessary to implement the law, according to José Miguel Burgos, head of the aquaculture division of the Fishing Subsecretariat.

For the last year, he said, “a plan for the rational use of antibiotics” has been under way, which includes the updating of records of these pharmaceuticals, monitoring the factories that incorporate them into fish food, and strengthening regulations.

One of the main criticisms of the industry has been its excessive and unregulated application of antibiotics.

“The density of salmon permitted per cage has been regulated,” and by the end of the year there will be rules “that establish appropriate safety standards for those structures,” added Burgos. The aim is to prevent a massive escape of the farmed fish, which otherwise could turn into predators of native fish species.

The official also noted that experts are measuring the capacity of the ecosystems to absorb the waste from the fish food and discharge from salmon production in the Reloncaví estuary.

Other diseases affect the industry as well, including the Caligus rogercresseyi parasite and rickettsial salmonid syndrome, of bacterial origin, which Burgos assured would be under control by the end of the year. But there is also fear that a disease of the salmon pancreas will appear — another aggressive virus.

The salmon farm owners say they have gone through a “self-critical” process and voluntarily adopted stricter standards. However, the Salmon Industry Association (SalmónChile), declined to respond to Tierramérica’s inquiries.

“The industry is not going to survive if it doesn’t incorporate biotechnological tools,” Rodrigo Vidal, an expert with the University of Santiago, told Tierramérica. Working with other scientists, he obtained public funds to create an Aquaculture Biotechnology Centre, with plans to continue developing genome-based instruments to evaluate the sector.

Vidal is a member of the scientific committee created in 2009 by Canada, Chile and Norway to sequence the Atlantic salmon genome by 2012.

“Are we prepared as a nation to take advantage of the salmon genome, considering that we have Norway as a direct competitor, and is light-years ahead of us in biotechnology?” wondered Vidal, who says the “genome key” is essential for better production, lowering costs and avoiding overexploitation of ecosystems.

In his opinion, this national project is almost unknown, and he has called for immediately improving public-private coordination to put environmental sustainability ahead of economic interests so that salmon farming does not “mortgage the future.”

But according to Liberona, of the Terram Foundation, instead of focusing on an industry that was flawed from the beginning, what is needed is “a real public policy for the Chilean coast,” to coordinate and promote various productive activities, based on research and citizen participation.


Source: TheFishSite News Desk

Tilapia price increases

Friday, August 13th, 2010
Exporters of tilapia products in China predict that there will be a rise in export prices in the second half of this year.

This upward trend would follow a number of factors, in which are mentioned the decline in production volume of cultured tilapia and higher operating costs for producers.
The lower production of tilapia is one of the consequences of the cold wave that hit the southern China region from late 2009 through the first quarter of 2010. Low temperatures caused the deaths of many tilapia fingerlings, with mortality rates being reported in some areas of up to 50 per cent.
Some estimate that the production of tilapia in the country could decrease between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.
Another factor that is affecting prices is the increased cost of feed.
The price of fish meal and maize increased significantly in the last year and these hikes, coupled with cost increases in the logistics sector, impact on operating costs for tilapia producers.

Source: FIS

Vietnam’s seafood sells well in Mexico

Friday, August 13th, 2010

In the first six months of this year, Vietnam’s seafood exported to Mexico has shown an increase of 37.7 percent in volume and 27.5 percent in value.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) reported that, in the first six months of this year, Vietnam’s seafood exported to Mexico has shown an increase of 37.7 percent in volume and 27.5 percent in value compared to the same period of last year.

Mexico is the second largest economy in Latin America and considered a large potential market for Vietnamese tra and basa products.

In the first six months of this year, Mexico imported 17,000 tonnes of tra fish worth US$37.33 million and became Vietnam’s fifth largest importer of this item after the US, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

According to Vietnamese exporters, this market is now interested in other products in addition to traditional frozen fillets.

Meanwhile, shrimp exports to the North American country only make up a small share of 45 tonnes worth US$402.000 due to strict regulations.

Source:Vietnam Business News

Vietnam’s Seafood Export Value To Increase This Year

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

VIET NAM – The total export value of seafood is expected to increase by 13.4 per cent to US$4.8 billion this year, Vietnam‘s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Centre of Informatics and Statistics has announced.

World prices for many types of seafood had increased sharply since early this year due to a short supply, the centre said. The shrimp price for jumped by 40 per cent to $14 per kilo in the US while tra fish fillet saw a 20 per cent price jump to $3.5 per kilo against April prices.

The shrimp price in Japan also surged by 18 per cent over the early months of the year.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and crop failures in shrimp exporting countries, including Thailand and India, resulted in advantages for Vietnam’s seafood export enterprises, said the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

In the first seven months of this year, shrimp overtook tra for first place in export value among Vietnam’s key seafood export products, the ministry said.

The export value of shrimp in the first seven months had a year-on-year increase of 22 per cent to $717 million, accounting for 35.5 per cent of the country’s total seafood export value.

The value of tra exports and tuna exports jumped by 7.9 per cent and 88 per cent, respectively, in the first seven months.

In that period, the total national seafood export value increased by 11.6 per cent to $2.45 billion over the same period last year.

Vietnam has exported seafood to 143 countries and territories, with the European Union being the largest export market so far. Seafood exports to the EU reached 164,000 tonnes for $502 million in earnings, accounting for 24.5 per cent of the country’s total.

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