December 19, 2008
Malaysia's seafood exports in peril after EU ban
Malaysia's MYR2.5 billion (US$7 million) seafood export business is on the verge of collapse with no concrete help following a ban of its products by the European Union in June this year.
The Malaysian Frozen Foods Processors Association (MFFPA) has raised an alarm that the industry can uphold stocks for only three months while seafood worth millions of ringgit languishes in cold rooms, unable to be exported due to different packing and logistical standards by the EU.
The Malaysian seafood industry is the country's second largest food export earner, with EU as its key export market.
MFFPA president Ch'ng Chin Hooi said seafood exporters can no longer withstand the pressure from banks and losses in sales and production, of which is reportedly estimated at more than MYR1.5 billion.
Hooi said the government has not made a move three months after approving a MYR500 million rescue through soft loans to help industry players.
He said seafood export is still viable with orders from foreign customers, but the industry still needs financial aid to hold stocks and softer interest rates.
He also said he believes the industry can be saved if the government acts fast and hopes the industry will be able to catch the summer holiday sales in 2009.