Archive for October, 2010

VASEP to set minimum prices for Pangasius (tra catfish)

Monday, October 25th, 2010

The start of 2011 will see the establishment of minimum export and procurement prices for tra catfish (pangasius) to help farmers and processors prevent losses, said Duong Ngoc Minh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

He added that the US market would be excluded from the deal.

Exports of tra may not fulfill this year’s target of USD 1.5 billion due to falling prices and orders. VASEP anticipates the value of exports to reach some USD 1.37 billion instead, VNS reports.

In the first nine months of 2010, 472,586 tonnes of tra worth USD 1 billion were exported. The remaining USD 500,000 cannot be exported in the remaining three months of the year, the association told.

Normally, Minh said, the quantity of tra fish exported between July-October is higher than during the previous portion of the year. But the trend changed this year because lower export orders year-on-year plus export prices falling to record lows, even to the US market. 

Additionally, the US imposed higher anti-dumping tariff on Vietnamese tra, and many other markets also put up obstacles to limit imports. The US Department of Commerce’s (DOC) may charge prohibitive tariffs of 100-120 per cent – which surpasses all previous rates – to five Vietnamese firms even though the fish sells for a lot less than the tax in the US market.  

Countries including Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia developed tra farming with government funding, which has enlarged the market supply of the fish.

For markets other than the US, a minimum export price of USD 2.8 per kg will be set starting early next year, while farmers selling the fish will earn a minimum price of VND 20,000 (USD 1) a kg.

“The regulation on floor prices aims to bring the price of tra fish to its true value and ensure profits for both breeders and processors,” Minh said. 

Currently, the purchase price of tra is VND 18,500 (USD 0.9) per kg with the average being USD 2.7 per kg.

VASEP has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to add tra to the list of products subjetct to conditional exports, which would require processors to meet specific criteria to be able to export tra, such as having an export contract for at least six months and having their product quality registered and inspected. 

Production of tra has been weak in Vietnam because about 30 per cent of farmers have quit this year after incurring severe losses from dipping prices. 

Seafood processors have thus said they may encounter a continued shortage of raw materials in 2011. They estimate the tra fish output at 1 million tonnes despite their total processing capacity of over 2 million tonnes.

Source: VASEP

Pangasius Report in October 2010.

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

In 2008, the Vietnam pangasius industry was marked by oversupply. The situation heightened toward year’s end, as demand subsided due to the global economic crisis and prices dropped even further.

In 2009, some pangasius farmers abandoned their ponds because they couldn’t break even. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the area dedicated to pangasius ponds in the Mekong Delta had slipped by 600 hectares, to 5,240 hectares, by year’s end, and 30 percent of pangasius ponds in Vietnam.

Thus, this year, there’s a supply shortfall. Though demand has rebounded, rising commodity prices have driven costs, and prices, higher. Analysts estimates another 30% of pangasius farms have suspended operation due to rising costs and lack of available credit. Today, all the seafood processing companies in the province are struggling with the material shortage.

Input prices this year have increased by $0.10 per kilo. In August, Seafood companies were collecting live whole fish at $0.91 per kilo, or 12% higher than the first quarter of 2010.

Prices, which were stable in the second half of 2009, are rising and the expectation is for a continued rise for at a similar rate for the foreseeable future. In order to make one kilo of fillet fish, processors would need three kilograms of fish. Currently, processors only receive three dollars for every kilogram of fillet fish exported. Therefore, seafood companies will not pay higher to farmers. If they buy materials at overly high prices, they will not be able to make profit.

Pangasius output reached 1-1.2 million tons sometimes. However, the output has decreased since 2008. Since the feed price keeps rising, farmers incur losses, a lot of households have given up farming. Only 2-3 households in every 10 households still keep farming, analysts report.

Source: Portunus Vietnam

Mexico – Potential market for Vietnam pangasius

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

At present, Mexico is considered as a big, stable and potential importing market of Vietnamese pangasius. Until the end of June, 2010, Mexico has been the fifth biggest pangasius importer from Vietnam, behind the U.S., Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

In the first six months of this year, Vietnam’s seafood export to Mexico increased by 37.7% in volume and 27.5% in value compared to the same period of 2009. Shrimps and pangasius are the two main export items of Vietnam to this market.

However, shrimps export only accounted for a small amount of value. From January to June, 2010 Vietnam only exported 45 tons of shrimps valued at 402,000 USD to Mexico. Many Vietnamese shrimp exporters confirmed in recent years, too severe import rules in Mexico hindered Vietnamese shrimps from entering this market.

In contrast, recently, pangasius exports to Mexico have substantially developed. Product quality checking in this country is not as complicated as in some other markets such as the U.S. and EU. While in 2004 there were only 24 enterprises exporting to Mexico, in 2009 this figure doubled to 54.

Before 2006, Mexican consumers were ambiguous with pangasius of Vietnam, but now they can buy Vietnamese pangasius in most super-markets and big markets in Mexico such as: Wal – Mart, Costco, Chedraui, Superama, Soriana…

In the first 6 months of 2010, Mexico imported more than 17,000 tons of pangasius, valued at 37.33 million USD from Vietnam.

Some of Vietnamese pangasius exporters to Mexico shared their opinions that in the past this market favoured frozen pangasius but now they are concerning about value-added products.

Source: Pangasius Vietnam

Will pangasius be the world’s most popular whitefish?

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Will pangasius be the world’s most popular whitefish? It’s hardly surprising pangasius broke into America’s top 10 most eaten seafood species in 2009. Everywhere you look — if you look closely enough — you’ll find the fish, in foodservice catalogues, in the frozen section of retail stores, covered in batter at a fish and chips shop. Though the seafood industry knows all about pangasius, most consumers don’t know what they’re eating. That may be about to change.

                While a few years ago the rocketing growth in pangasius exports was viewed with disdain — even leading figures in Vietnam said production was growing too fast — there haven’t been any hurdles the fish hasn’t overcome. 

World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Pangasius Aquaculture Dialogues were recently published, after over three years of work, creating a stringent production standard that will allows pangasius producers to garner an Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) label. The new standards, and WWF’s involvement, should be a big boost for the fish’s reputation — the fish’s last big challenge. 

Birds Eye Iglo’s David Graham, one of 600 participants that worked on the news standards, said the new WWF standards should “help enhance consumer confidence in what is still a relatively unfamiliar fish species.” 

“Relatively unfamiliar” is an understatement. Nobody knows what pangasius is outside the seafood industry. Few companies have openly praised the fish, even as pangasius has added more and more to their bottom lines. But as the WWF standards are met by more and more companies, we will start seeing a lot more seafood companies calling pangasius by it’s name right on the front of the pack. With the price point being what it is, pangasius gaining a positive reputation among consumers would be a big boost to consumption. 

Pangasuis can be supplied for seemingly any demand curve. Vietnam’s output continues to be astonishing, but other countries are experimenting with production, including China, Thailand and India. Once the fish takes hold in those countries — and it will — output is going to grow at a phenomenal rate. 

Production of pangasius worldwide reached an estimated 1.6 million metric tons last year. Contrast that with the harvests of the top 10 groundfish species, which in 2009 was only around six million metric tons. Production of pangasius’ rival, tilapia, is expected to reach close to three million metric tons worldwide this year, but given that pangasius production was at around 400,000 metric tons just five years ago, it’s conceivable output could eclipse the total volume of tilapia production within the next five years. 

Linae Foster, QVD marketing manager, told IntraFish pangasius could break into the top five most consumed species in America within a decade. I agree, and I think we’ll see the fish take a similar position in Europe, Russia, Asia and elsewhere. 

With improving production methods and new standards to back up quality and environmental responsibility — I don’t see any reason why pangasius wouldn’t be the world’s No. 1 fish sooner than we might think.

Source: IntraFish

Norway – Salmon prices at week 39

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Salmon spot prices went down last week (38) for deliveries this week (39). Export volume was up for fresh salmon from 12,597 tonnes in week 37 to 13,516 tonnes in week 38, reports Fish Pool ASA.

The Fish Pool Index – Spot Market Prices (fresh salmon 3-6 kg, FCA Oslo) for the latest four weeks were as follows:

Week 35: PFI in EUR: 4.67, FPI in NOK: 37.12, NOK/EUR: 7.94
Week 36: FPI in EUR: 4.51, FPI in NOK: 35.51, NOK/EUR:7.88
Week 37: FPI in EUR: 4.48, FPI in NOK: 35.47, NOK/EUR: 7.91
Week 38: FPI in EUR: 4.66*, FPI in NOK: 36.97*, NOK/EUR:7.93

 *Preliminary FPI

The preliminary FPI is based on historical values. The final FPI will be completed Friday in the forthcoming week, when all of the 5 price elements have been updated.

Fish Pool Index vs Total Export Volumes. (Graph: Fish Pool)

Fish Pool Forward prices

The forward price reflects the expectations of the Fish Pool’s Members for the next 24 months. The prices are assessed by contracts made as well as interests to buy or sell at Fish Pool and are indications for information purposes only.  

Q4 was last traded at NOK 35.00, is now NOK 34.50 vs 37.50.

Year 2011 was last traded at NOK 35.15, down from NOK 35.50. Now best buyer Y-2011 at NOK 35.20.

Q1-11 is at NOK 35.75 vs 36.00.

Q3+Q4-11 is now at NOK 34.75 vs 35.00.

Source: fis