March 12, 2009

Vietnam seafood producers suffer from high feed prices

Breeders and seafood processing companies in Vietnam are suffering from high feed prices while world prices have been reduced by half since peak prices last July.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) organised a meeting on Tuesday (Mar 10) in Hanoi to discuss solutions to reduce the price of seafood and feed to help breeders.


Vietnam Feed Association (VFA) and Department of Animal Health (DAH) earlier called on importers to reduce the feed price and share difficulties with breeders.


However, after four months, feed prices have been reduced by only 10 percent to 15 percent while the VFA calculated that a reasonable reduction ought to be 25 percent to 40 percent.


Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) deputy chairman Nguyen Huu Dung said that the most important thing now for breeders and seafood processing businesses is not how much they sell but how much profit they get.


Dung explained that if feed importers do not reduce the price, the state should permit seafood and food processing enterprises to import materials themselves to produce feed, while reducing import tax to assist the breeders.


MARD minister Cao Duc Phat said that his ministry had assigned the Livestock-Breeding Department and Department of Aquaculture to investigate why feed prices in Vietnam are higher than neighbouring countries and why businesses do not import cheap materials to lower domestic feed prices.


At present, the output and quality of domestic feed is still poor, with feed processing dependent on foreign countries, with 70 percent of materials imported.


Phat said that the government is not able to use administrative orders to ask businesses to reduce feed price, however, the state could adjust feed prices by financial mechanisms and policies.

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