July 26, 2012


Vietnam seeks approval on pangasius fish's export floor price



The approval from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to apply a floor price of US$2-2.2 per pound for pangasius fish exports to the US is being sought by Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP).


The move is aimed to ensure fair competition and regain value for the local pangasius fish as well as avoid anti-dumping measures from US' authorities in next reviews, the VASEP said.


The floor price was built by 30 biggest Vietnamese pangasius fish exporters who control a combined 80% of the country's total pangasius export volume and is expected to prevent further falling of the product.


Under the new regulation, to be effective from August, exporters are required to register export contracts with VASEP before making shipments. The association will supervise the export price as well as quality of the products.


Export prices of Vietnam's pangasius fish to the US have decreased during the past several months due to tough competition among exporters. According to the US Customs, frozen Vietnamese pangasius fish fillets were priced at US$3,480 per tonne last month, down 4% on-month.


The VASEP said that many local pangasius fish exporters had been forced to sell at lower prices as they were under pressure to pay back bank loans. Some offered to sell at only US$2.2 a kilogramme, a rate other firms said was incredibly low, as exporters could only make profits if prices are above US$2.7 a kilogramme.


However, numerous experts doubled the effectiveness of a floor export price for pangasius fish. Local exporters had earlier pledged to set floor prices for pangasius fish export, but their consensus was broken, VASEP's General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said.


Vietnam earned US$162.9 million from pangasius fish exports to the US as of June 15, rising 37% on year and accounting for 21% of the country's total revenues from pangasius fish exports.


Pangasius fish is one of Vietnam's export staples. In 2012, the country expects to earn US$2 billion from shipping pangasius fish abroad, up from $1.8 billion in 2011.

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