Processors turning away business because plants are can’t find enough fish to process
Many European and U.S. importers looking to buy Vietnamese pangasisus products at the Food and Hotel Exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City last month were unhappy because local exporters could not meet their increasing demand.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP), the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta has over 120 pangasius processing plants that require some 5,000 tons of fish per day in the fourth quarter.However, deputy chairman of the association, Duong Ngoc Minh, said supply would be less than 4,000 tons.
The shortage forced pangasisus prices up to VND26,500 ($1.27/€0.93) per kilogram by Sept. 30, a VND1,000 ($0.05/€0.03) rise in two weeks.
This is due to the sell-off of fish breeding farms last year when their owners suffered huge losses due to the depressed markets.
The cost of pangasisus fry rose from VND29,000 per kilogram ($1.40/€1.02) in early September to VND36,000 ($1.70/€1.25) by Sept. 30.
VASEP said, while the global economic crisis will have little impact on the industry, the insufficient supply of fish will hit exports in the fourth quarter of 2011 and the first half of next year.
In addition to traditional markets such as the EU and the United States, Vietnamese exporters have expanded their pangasisus market to South America, the association said.