The export prices of tra fish will continue to increase next year due to a severe shortage of the supply, the seafood industry association has said.
Duong Ngoc Minh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said: “Output has decreased by as much as 70 per cent this year since many farmers have stopped farming the fish due to heavy losses in previous years.”
Speaking on the sidelines of a conference to discuss a draft decree on tra fish production and consumption in HCM City on Thursday, he said export prices had already risen from US$2.4 per kilogramme to $2.8 in recent times.
It was likely to go past $3 next year, he said.
“Most processors and exporters have not developed their own raw material source and rely mainly on supply by farmers. As a result, they don’t have enough for their production once farmers stop breeding.”
Farmers are already charging VND22,000 – VND22,500 ($1,128-$1,153) per kilogramme compared to VND18,500 ($0.94) in October. But even this was not enough to encourage farmers to resume breeding because of the potential risks and high loan interest rates, Minh said.
To ensure sustainable growth of tra exports, he said, the Government should properly zone breeding areas to monitor quality, volume, and even prices.
Research institutes and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should provide more high – quality hatchlings to improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese tra products in the global market.
Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP’s general secretary, said the draft decree, which stipulates the floor prices both for exports and raw materials, should set a floor price only for exports.
Viet Nam hoped to earn $1.5 billion from tra exports this year, he said, adding it was shipped to 120 countries and territories.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is soliciting suggestions to draft the decree.