February 9, 2010

Vietnam eyes US$1.5 billion in catfish exports


The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has targeted to reach US$1.5 billion in tra fish export in 2010 given recovery of the seafood export market.

The nation plans to maintain the cultivation area at 6,000 hectares and output of 1.2 million tonnes this year, equivalent to last year. Vietnam earned US$1.3 billion from the export of the catfish in 2009.

Minister Cao Duc Phat in a meeting in Hanoi last week agreed to issue regulations for exporters involved in the export market. The regulations will help protect the Vietnamese tra fish trademark on international markets and punish violations, Phat said.

He suggested the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) to co-operate with the MARD to set up floor prices for tra fish and set up a tra fish association soon.

Duong Ngoc Minh, head of the Management Board for Catfish Export to Russia, said local exporters had enjoyed more favourable conditions as supplies for the market have reduced sharply given EU seafood origin regulations.

Tra fish prices in the country increased by VND1,000 (US$0.054) per kilogramme against last December due to higher export prices. Meanwhile, tra fish prices in the Mekong Delta have continued to increase to VND16,000-16,500 (US$0.866-0.893) per kilogramme.

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