Aquaculture plants struggle with lack of raw material in Vietnam.

Seafood processing plants nationwide have been running at only 40-50 per cent capacity since the start of the fourth quarter, due to a shortage of raw materials, according to the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

The shortage has resulted in a price increase. Yesterday, tra fish were being sold for more than VND21 million (US$1,000) per tonne, a month-on-month increase of VND5 million ($256).

The cost of shrimp also increased by 15-20 per cent compared to a month ago.

These increases have forced prices up and many exporters are operating at a loss, struggling to meet contracts that were signed several months ago when the price was lower.

VASEP said more and more farmers were becoming less inclined to invest in aquaculture, despite the fact the price of seafood products on the world market was increasing.

Farmers were reluctant to take out loans due to high interest rates of up to 17 per cent on top of the increasing cost of feed, VASEP said.

According to VASEP, the shortage would be difficult to solve in the short term.- VNS

Director of Portunus Vietnam said his company had only exported small volumes of seafood recently, and may fail to reach his target this year due to the shortage.

Source: VASEP & Portunus Vietnam.

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