July 31, 2013


Vietnam's Mekong Delta prawn prices up, tra fish down



Prices of Vietnamese tra fish in Cuu Long, Mekong Delta, have declined during the early part of July 2013, in contrast to prices for tiger prawn which have risen.


Le Chi Binh, deputy chairman of An Giang Aqua-Culture Association, said the price of grade one tra stood at US$0.87-0.90 per kilogramme on July 24, a loss of US$0.14/kg for breeders.


Adequate supply from farms in the region and lower export prices are major causes for the decline in the local market, Binh said.


As a result, tra fish breeding ponds in An Giang, one of the provinces with the largest pond area in the delta, have shrunk by 18% from last year to 779 hectares. The area, once a size of 2,200 hectares, could drop further as many farmers have stopped breeding tra after the last harvest, and switched to other kinds of fish.


Farmers also found increasing diffculty in selling tra since buyers have alternate sources of supply.


In the meantime, prawn farmers have seen rising prices in the past few months. Prawns weighing 50 grams are now selling for US$11-11.33 per kilogramme, and those weighing 25 grams fetch US$7.32.


According to Nguyen Van Thanh, head of the Kien Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's aquaculture division, farmers and businesses in the province possessed near to 2,000 hectares of shrimp farms, mainly in the Long Xuyen Quadrilateral.

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