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In the region of the Mekong Delta, the provinces of An Giang and Dồng Tháp, are the two largest producers and exporters of pangasius

Pangasius industry faces production and export challenges

Click on the flag for more information about Viet Nam VIET NAM
Saturday, June 15, 2019, 00:20 (GMT + 9)

The domestic tra fish (Pangasius) industry has faced challenges regarding the purchasing price on the domestic market as well exports due to high tariffs on the product in the US market, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

In May, the purchasing price of tra fish continued to decline in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region, especially An Giang and Đồng Tháp provinces, the two largest tra fish producers and exporters in the region, said the ministry.

Pangasius fattening farm in the Mekong river delta area (photo: stockfile)

Nguyễn Thanh Bình, director of Châu Thành Seafood Production and Service Cooperative in Dồng Tháp Province, said at present the price for raw tra fish in the Mekong Delta has dropped to VND20,500 (USD  0.87) per kilo – the lowest in the past two years.

According to MARD's Department of Farm Produce Processing and Development, the low price is due to firms raising their own fish instead of buying from farmers. Processing companies have not signed any more export contracts.

Last year, Việt Nam recorded a tra fish export value of USD2.3 billion. With the high export value, farmers gained profits of about VND10,000 per kilo.

Manual  processing line of fillets without skin of panga (Photo: stockfile)

The high profit makes farmers to increase supply, he said, which has hit the purchasing price.The reduction in the price of tra fish has also impacted the demand and price of fingerlings. For instance, the price for fingerlings of tra fish dropped to VND20,000-25,000 per kilo from VND70,000 at the beginning of this year.

The ministry also said the tra fish industry has seen a reduction in exports since April after gaining at the start of the year, especially in exports to the US.

However, the industry could expect to see more export opportunities to 10 member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) because local export seafood products will enjoy zero tariffs.

Quality control area in a Swai processing plant (commercial name of pangasius, tra or basa). Photo: stockfile

According to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), in 2018, the export value of tra fish to the 10 CPTPP countries reached USD 328.3 million, up 17.3 per cent year on year.

Now, Mexico is the fifth largest importer of Vietnamese tra fish, after mainland China, Hong Kong, the EU, US and ASEAN. Japan is also a promising market for local tra fish.

Source: VNS

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