Lack of raw fish again in Vietnam!

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

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