April 27, 2011


Vietnam association eyes to enlarge pangasius fish exports



The Vietnam Association of Seafood Processors and Exporters (VASEP) has placed four measures to increase pangasius fish exports in 2011, according to local reports on Tuesday (Apr 26).


These include raising the average export price, stabilising production to ensure demands, strengthening quality management in breeding and processing, and speeding pangasius fish promotion and marketing for the Vietnamese fish.


According to VASEP, the average export price of catfish was US$2.54 per kilogramme in the first quarter, an on-year rise of 20%.


As production and material costs will continue to rise this year, VASEP proposed a minimum export price of US$3.2 per kilogramme from now until the end of the year.


To stabilise material output, which is presently the biggest problem facing enterprises, VASEP said that enterprises needed to take initiatives to develop resources appropriate to their financial and export capacities, by breeding their own fish, having their fish bred or ordering farmers to breed for them.


VASEP asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to tighten planning of fish farms and maintain a stable output of catfish for export at about one million tonnes.


As regards quality management, VASEP wants only standardised fish exported. Enterprises must comply with regulations on use of chemicals while breeding and processing pangasius fish catfish.


As for the last solution, VASEP asked the ministry for permission to set up a fund to develop the export of Vietnamese pangasius fish with a US$10 contribution on every tonne of the fish export. The fund would be for pangasius fish promotion and marketing activities only.


Addressing the seminar, Luong Le Phuong, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, expressed his agreement to the solutions laid by VASEP.


He said to overcome the current severe shortage of pangasius fish; enterprises should breed the fish themselves, as this would help to meet 30% of the demand.


Since input costs have soared sharply, processors need to reduce production costs to lower the cost price, he added.


Vietnam earned US$376.43 million from exports of 153,062 tonnes of pangasius fish in the first quarter, up by 21.6% in value and 5.2% in volume on year.


VASEP said pangasius fish prices will not drop, but might rise by about 10% until the summer harvest, because pangasius fish importers have begun to accept higher prices offered by Vietnamese exporters.


Pangasius fish production could reach 800,000 tonnes in 2011, with 500,000 tonnes yield by the end of this year. However, there could be a severe shortage of raw catfish towards the third quarter of the year.

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