Export challenges push tra fish prices to 10-year low hinh anh 1Processing tra fish for export at Can Tho Seafood Import-Export Joint Stock Company (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Prices of tra fish have dropped to the lowest level in 10 years due to export difficulties, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Agricultural Market Development and Processing Department.

In June, the wholesale price for tra fish in the Mekong Delta fell by about 2,000 VND per kilogramme from the previous month to 22,000-23,000 VND per kilo for type one tra fish (with each fish weighing 800-900g).

The price has decreased by nearly 16,000 VND per kilo year on year and about 10,000 VND per kilo from the beginning of this year.

Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Producers (VASEP) said that higher prices in the second half of 2018 led people who raise the fish to develop larger rearing areas.

Prices showed signs of falling at the start of this year but farmers and businesses still managed to collect big profits in the first quarter of the year, he said.

However, since the start of the second quarter, prices have been declining sharply as supply grows, cutting into profits for farmers and exporters.

Lower demand for tra fish fingerlings also led to a massive decrease in prices of fingerlings, from 60,000-65,000 VND per 30-unit kilo at the end of 2018 to 18,000-20,000 VND now.

Duong Nghia Quoc, Chairman of the Vietnam Pangasius Association, said a strong decrease in exports to the US contributed to the falling prices.

More stringent technical requirements in China and higher tariffs on exports to the US have led to lower tra fish exports and higher inventories, according to the association.

According to experts, this situation is also due to the lack of effective links between farmers and businesses, which would help form a sustainable production chain and keep prices stable.

In the first six months of the year, the total export value of Vietnamese tra fish to the China - Hong Kong market reached 254.3 million USD, up 1.2 percent year on year – constituting lower growth than expected – accounting for 26.4 percent of the national total tra fish export value.

Meanwhile, tra fish exports to the US reached 141.9 million USD, down 27.9 percent compared to the same period last year. The decline was especially pronounced in June was a strong fall of 40.8 percent.

By the end of June, the total export value of tra fish for the year so far was 961.6 million USD, down 4.1 percent over the same period of last year.

According to VASEP, in the third quarter, tra fish exports to the EU are expected to maintain the same growth rate as the first two quarters. Preferential tariffs under the European Union and Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will create opportunities for Vietnam to grow its fish exports to the market, according to VASEP. - VNS/VNA