December 3, 2011
Vietnam's seafood materials decline amid continuous flood
As a result of continued flooding in the delta in the last few months in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, Vietnam's supply of seafood materials for processing has declined considerably.
In Kien Giang Province, for example, the volume of rainfall and floods has changed the environment around shrimp-farming ponds, and as a result, many shrimp have died.
Nguyen Danh Hien, director of Minh Phu Aquaculture Company, said he had expected his 100ha-farm would yield 1,500 tonnes of shrimp, as in previous farming crops, but the actual yield this year was only 500 tonnes.
He said flood waters had dissolved the salinity in ponds, causing shrimp to die.
Other farms in the province have had a low yield as well.
The price of shrimp used as raw materials for seafood processing has risen to VND270,000 (US$12.85), or about VND14,000 (US$0.67) over the last crop.
Tran Chi Vien, deputy director of Kien Giang Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the department had urged aquaculture farmers to expand shrimp farming by 200ha to meet the current shortage.
In An Giang Province, the supply of tra (pangasius) fish is also insufficient.
The total area of tra fish farming ponds has reduced of 500ha compared with last year, according to Pham Thi Hoa, deputy director of An Giang Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
However, the companies affected most are small- and medium-sized ones.
Big processing companies have their own aquaculture farms, so they are able to control supply. Some of the aquaculture farmers were even supplying seafood for them via contracts signed at the beginning of the current crop.
According to Dong Thap Province's Department of Fisheries, many big processors in the province have a sufficient supply of seafood for production.
Farms in the province have harvested 3,090,130 tonnes of tra fish from 812ha. However, the department predicts a drop in yield for the coming crop because of a shortage of fish fries, which was caused by the impact of floods.