Archive for October, 2011

Vietnam tuna exports to the U.S increased robustly

Monday, October 31st, 2011

According to Vietnam Customs, in the first eight months of 2011, tuna exports of the country reached US$261.9 million, up 31.1 percent against the same period of 2010. In August alone, tuna exports achieved US$30 million. So far this year, Vietnam has shipped tuna to 83 markets. Tuna exports to key markets except for Israel, Lebanon and Taiwan, has been on upward trend. Vietnam tuna exports to Iran reached the highest with triple digit growth of 100.2 percent, but exports to Israel dropped sharply 38 percent. Among three traditional markets (the U.S., the EU, Japan with the proportion of 68.6 percent in the total Vietnam tuna export value), the U.S. is the leading importer with the proportion of 47.4 percent. Tuna exports to the country recorded US$124 million, up 33.1 percent over that of the same period last year. So far, a tuna export to the country has been keeping double digit growth. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the first seven months of 2011, the U.S. imported over 176,179 MT of tuna from 84 countries in which Vietnam ranked the fourth after Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Vietnam tuna imports into the U.S. increased robustly, 64 percent and 122 percent in volume and value, respectively while the Philippines tuna imports into the country decreased sharply (30 percent). In the exported tuna product structure of Vietnam to the U.S., frozen tuna (coded HS03, mainly the skipjack, yellow fin and big eye tuna) represented 57 percent. The value added tuna (coded HS16, mainly skipjack, yellow fin tuna) accounted 43 percent. Vietnam shipped canned tuna to Thailand and the Philippines and frozen tuna to Indonesia. Besides the U.S., tuna exports to Japan and the EU remained positive growth, up 79.5 percent and 24.8 percent, respectively in value against the same period last year. In the last four months of 2011, it is expected that the U.S., Japan and the EU will step up importing Vietnam tuna to meet the high demand at the end of the year.

Source: VASEP

Vietnam pangasius export reached US$1.16 billion

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Up to the end of August 2011, Vietnam pangasius export reported US$1.16 billion, up nearly 30 percent on that of the same period of 2010. Vietnam pangasius export to the U.S reached nearly US$196 million – the highest level out of over 133 countries and territories importing fish from Vietnam.Vietnam is the biggest pangasius exporters to the U.S. So far this year, Vietnam fish export to the U.S. has remarked a notable growth in both volume and value. Vietnam pangasius is more and more popular in the U.S. The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) has ranked Vietnam pangasius as the ninth among top 10 favourite fish species in the U.S. in 2010 while it ranked the tenth in 2009. The fish consumption in the U.S. per capita in 2009 averaged 0.78 kilogram while the fish consumption in 2010 increased to 0.89 kilogram. Among the U.S.’s top 10 favourite fish species, Vietnam pangasius is one of four species (including tilapia, tuna, cod) which see a high consumption while the other six species show decreasing consumption over the previous year. EU is Vietnam’s leading pangasius importer with the proportion of 30.7 percent in the total Vietnam pangasius export. According to a large pangasius exporter, at the early September 2011, members of the EU reported a double increase in importing fish fillet in small size (or raw fish count 850 grammes per piece). In the first eight months of 2011, pangasius export members, Spain and the Netherlands are the biggest importers, accounting for over 10 percent of the EU’s total pangasius import. Spain is the largest fish importers in EU. In the first eight months of 2011, pangasius export to the country reached US$73 million, down 9.6 percent on that of the same period last year. On the contrary, in August 2011, fish export to Spain reached US$13.6 million, up 46.5 percent on that of August 2010. At this time, fish export to the Netherlands posted nearly US$9 million, up on that of the previous month (US$6.39 million) and up 87.6 percent on that of the same period last year. With notable growth in fish export to the EU, Vietnam processors strongly purchase raw fish for processing. This leads to the increasing price of domestic raw fish. However, the fish price has not exceeded the peak of VND26, 000 per kilogram. Vietnam pangasius export also sees growth in Mexico, Russia, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, Brazil. From January to August this year, fish export to Brazil reached US$45 million, up 137 percent, export to Saudi Arabia reached US$40 million,up 45.2 percent. With high fish demand from the global market,Vietnam pangasius export this year expects to achieve over US$1.5 billion.

Source: VASEP

Lack of raw fish again in Vietnam!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

In the first eight months of 2011, Vietnam seafood exports reached double digit growth; however, domestic exporters faced severe scarcity of raw material. In January – August 2011, shrimp exports Vietnam’s key export item generated US$1.44 billion, up nearly 23 percent over that of the same period last year. Although shrimp farming area in some key provinces expanded and the price of the black tiger shrimp and white leg shrimp increased, there is still a shortage of raw shrimp for processors. The reason for this shortage is the disease in black tiger shrimp farms in Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu provinces. Therefore, the processors cannot operate at full capacity, even in the middle of shrimp harvest. For the rest of the year, the processors will still suffer from the lack of raw material despite rising orders and high demand from the global markets. The material source of wild-caught fish is the same. Some fishing vessels cannot go offshore fishing due to high fuel price. Many exporters have to reduce export volume because of lack of raw fish. Although catch landings is unchangeable, the structure of catch species varies. There is a reduction in high value species but an increase in low value ones. The lack of raw material together with the Chinese dealers’ competition in purchasing raw fish leads to increasing fish price. With 600 hectares of farming area, it seems that the supply of pangasius is stable, but it has fallen into unbalanced state for recent years. The fish price tends to rise after 3 gloomy months, mainly for fish sized 700-800 gram per piece. Despite shortage of raw material, it is expected that in the rest months of this year, Vietnam seafood exports will keep a stable growth. However, exporters are concerning about unstable state. In the upcoming time, the processors should invest in upgrading modern processing equipments with an aim to enhance processing capacity and reduce fuel cost instead of building new plants. Besides, it is necessary to strengthen the linkage among farmers and the processors to establish large-scale farming area and set up offshore fishing teams so that processors can hold balance in raw material.

Source: VASEP

Pangasius shortage to continue in 2012

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

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.

Source: Vietnamnews

70% of small Pangasius plants will close !

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

The reasons for this situation are high tide flood, polluted water spreading into the ponds. These factors caused the serious shortage supply.

More than half a month, the Pangasius raising in Dong Thap and An giang, where account for 60% total volume of Pangasisu in Mekong, has been postponed due to the serious flood. The high tide flood brings both fertilizer and the pollutions into the ponds keeping the farmers from feeding the fish. The fish is often in starving and slower grows than normal, therefore, the supply becomes seriously short.

Mr. Duong Ngoc minh, VP of VASEP, reveals that since the beginning of October until now, Pangasius price increases 5,000 dong to 27,500 dong/kg for size 800gr/fish but there is not available sources. That the dramatic increasing of live fish price makes many exporters get loss. At the moment, the exporters are delivering for the contracts signed in quarter 3/2011 at the level below 3.00 USD/kg for fillets while the production cost is at least 3.2 USD/kg if they buy the material at the current price. There are 70% out of 100 small plants closing and their workers are unemployed. The plants with their own farms also decrease 50% capacity.

If the flood is irrigated quickly then at least by the early of next year the fingerlings are available, so, the material scarcity is still lasting until the middle of next year, said Mr. Duong Ngoc Minh.

Source: vietnam news

Japan can’t get a hold on price

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Seafood imported to Japan was more expensive in July than in the same month a year ago, according to new customs data.

The yen was valued at 87 to the U.S. dollar in July 2010, but strengthened to 79 this year. This should have given Japan more buying power, but prices rose even in yen terms due to increased demand from Europe, Korea and China and tighter catch limits.

The import price of king crab from the Russian Far East doubled to JPY 2,252 per kilogram, while snow crab gained 30 percent, mainly due to increased demand from Korea and China.

More competition for tuna, especially from the European Union, has pushed bigeye to JPY 850 per kilogram, up 10 percent. In South Pacific islands, Japanese companies usually fix six-month contracts on a yen basis, so they have not been able to benefit from the higher yen. The average import price for frozen bluefin tuna was JPY 2,889 per kilogram.

Octopus gained 30 percent, to JPY 710 per kilogram, because major suppliers Morocco and Mauritania implemented stricter catch limits. Prices at Tokyo supermarkets have followed upward.

Sablefish was up 23 percent to JPY 1,553, and goldeneye snapper rose 51 percent to JPY 630. Silver salmon rose 22 percent to JPY 575 per kilogram.

The higher overall prices continued into August, as domestic production was restrained by damage from the March earthquake and tsunami.

Additionally, in September, fishermen in Hokkaido could not set nets for fall salmon when the season opened because of a powerful typhoon. As a result, there is a shortage of fresh product. Prices have temporarily spiked, despite a good predicted count of returning fish.

Total import quantity by volume was down 9 percent to 164,000 metric tons in July, even as the value was up.

In contrast to rising wholesale seafood prices, overall prices for food and household items sold at supermarkets fell in July, according to a study published the Nikkei business daily. A point-of-sale survey showed year-on-year declines for 52 of 60 food and household items.

Retailers are discounting prices to reflect the stronger yen. This places importers in a bind — if they pay more to secure product they may not be able to pass on the cost to consumers.

Source: Seafood Source

Increasing export pangasius price

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

In the first four months of this year, the average price of pangasius exported to markets has been increasing in comparison with the same period of last year. Pangasius exported to Switzerland gained the highest price with US$4.43 per kilogram, followed by Japan with US$4.25 per kilogram. The fish price paid by importers in twenty other countries such as South Korea, the US was at US$3 – 3.97 per kilogram.

There is a fact that raw pangasius production is only enough for local processing factories, not redundant for inventories. This led to rocketed raw pangasiusprice, which was even higher than that of finished products. Many local processors felt in difficulties in raw pangasius purchasing. Their pangasius products exported to some markets were at under US$3 per kilogram while raw fish was at VND28,000 – 29,000 per kilogram.

Besides, US market is a major factor in pushing higher raw pangasius price during last four months. Its domestic catfish supply decreased sharply, forcing US importers to seek pangasius as an alternative source. Positive progress in the 6th review of antidumping duty for Vietnam pangasius made contribution to increase pangasius export to the US.

Pangasius exports to EU in the first four months of 2011 reached 65,609 MT, worth US$170.8 million. These figures are down 9.4 percent in volume and up 1.6 percent in value on those reported in the same period of 2010. Spain is the top pangasius importer in EU with the volume of 12,501 MT and Netherland showed the highest import value with US$32.87 million. Exports to Poland during last four months reached 6,633 MT, worth US$14.03 million, down 20.9% in volume and 8.1 percent in value compared to a year ago.

16,896 MT of pangasius exported to ASEAN, valued at US$36.9 million, up 34 percent in volume and 56.9 percent in value. In which, Singapore is the most important importer with the strong growth in both volume and value, respectively 28.9 percent and 51.7 percent.

Total exports of Vietnam pangasius during the first four months of this year reached 208,445 MT, worth US$521.3 million. These figures are up 5.6 percent in volume and 23 percent in value on those reported in last year.

Source: pangasius-vietnam

Low supplies, high prices and cheap imports driving US catfish industry back to its Southern roots

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

In Cleveland, Miss., a popular restaurant specializing in catfish takes the prized southern delicacy off its all-you-can-eat buffet and puts it on the regular menu only. Another Mid-South restaurant keeps it on the buffet, but raises the buffet price by a dollar per person.

Across the Mid-South, people are starting to ask the question – “Just how short are catfish supplies?”

According to John Michael Riley, a commodity marketing specialist for the Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension Service, supplies of U.S. pond-raised catfish are indeed down significantly, as producers have cut back on production due to increases in feed costs brought on by higher corn and soybean prices.

Catfish water acres have generally declined since the 2008 spike in commodity prices, and according to USDA, have dropped 39 percent from last year. Meanwhile, catfish feed prices have increased 53 percent since 2007.

As a result of less production this year, catfish processing declined 32 percent from last year, which is why catfish prices are moving higher. According to Auburn and MSU studies, wholesale catfish fillet prices have increased by 36 percent and 34 percent for fresh and frozen catfish, respectively, since 2007.

“It’s almost transitioned from the ball being in the processors court to the ball being in the grower’s court,” Riley said. “If you look at the price the grower receives for catfish, it was a straight line for so long. Over the latter part of 2010 and into the first and second quarter of 2011, we started to see that price start to bump up each month.

“The processor is going to pass that (increase in price) through to retail, whether that is a restaurant or a grocery store. Restaurants are having to increase menu prices. In some cases, they may take catfish off the buffet table and keep it on the menu. On the buffet line, they’re not able to extract the premiums they’re having to pay.”

According to the article South Sings Catfish Blues, in the Wall Street Journal online edition, some restaurants are now paying as much as dollar a pound more for catfish.

Outside the South, restaurants have started to rely on cheaper imports to fill demand for low-end priced catfish, Riley said. Imports of catfish cousins of the order siluriformes for June 2011 totaled 14.6 million pounds, up 42 percent from June 2010. The imports are from Cambodia, China, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the South, there appears to be a preference for home-grown catfish, which apparently has slowed imports into the region.

“Even though we’re in a situation of much lower production and higher prices, we’re finding great support out there from our customers, who are telling their restaurants they prefer home-grown catfish and are prepared to pay a higher price for it,” said Mike McCall, editor of the Catfish Journal, the catfish industry’s trade publication. “That’s encouraging to us, and hopefully we can grow some more fish and serve their needs.”

“Catfish demand is a lot stronger in the South and Southeast versus other parts of the nation,” Riley said. “The southern culture is very tied to anything home-grown. We’re going to continue to see home-grown catfish in the South unless it gets too exorbitantly priced.”

McCall said there’s no question that catfish producers are doing better financially at current prices, but he doesn’t think many will expand water acres substantially next year. “Our feed prices are still way up there, with little chance of them coming back down.

“Plus, it would be an expensive venture to go back in and rework those ponds, stock them, and grow fish. It would take you almost two years to do it. You’re not going to see a real rush to do that because the cost is so high. A few acres may be brought back in, but not a whole lot.”

While it was feared that spring flooding may also have reduced catfish stocks by allowing catfish to escape the confines of ponds, anticipated breaching by floodwater did not occur to a great extent.

McCall said there were some isolated cases where ponds were breached by floodwaters in the south Delta. “Those ponds are being reworked and cleaned out. Fortunately, the farmers realized there was a good chance the ponds would be flooded, so they got most of the fish out and moved them.”