May 18, 2010


Vietnam to resume catfish exports to Russia soon



Vietnam will soon resume export of tra catfish to Russia, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Luong Le Phuong.


Exports had stopped at the end of March due to unknown reasons but things have cleared up after the steering committee on exporting tra to Russia held discussions with the Russian agency that inspects the quality of imported products, he said.


Nevertheless, Vietnam will find it hard to sell the fish to Russia because that country is trying to protect the local industry.


Phuong said, however, that the Russian government is unlikely to call a halt to imports unlike in 2008.


According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Russia's demand for other seafood products from Vietnam, like shrimp, dried seafood, and surimi, has also been increasing as has the number of Vietnamese enterprises registering to export seafood products to Russia.


Phuong said the steering committee recently suggested instituting a “prestige” rating for Russian enterprises to offer them incentives including 2-5% price discounts.


The rating will be done by Vietnamese enterprises and Vietnamese business associations and is meant to create long-term ties between companies in the two countries.


Vietnam's exported 36,000 tonnes of tra to Russia last year, earning US$70 million, and aims to increase the amount to $100 million this year. Overall, it aims to export US$1.5 billion worth tra this year.


Meanwhile, a committee was set up last Friday to compile a draft decree on the production and export of tra in the Mekong Delta, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

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