Workers process tra fish for export (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Positive signals in key Vietnamese markets for tra fish exports like China, the EU and the US, have pushed material and fillet prices to the highest level to date.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), China has maintained its high growth, while the EU economy has bounced back since July.

In September, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) announced the preliminary results of the 14th period of review (POR 14), lowering anti-dumping tariffs on pangasius (tra fish) imports from Vietnam to 2.39 USD per kg from 0.69-7.74 USD per kg in POR 13. The review took place from August 1, 2016 until July 31, 2017.

To capitalise on the market’s advantages, the MARD requested that Mekong Delta localities focus on tightening production conditions and product quality in line with regulations, encouraging tra fish farmers and businesses to develop their value chains.

Market expansion and trademark building were highly recommended, while violations in tra fish processing and export will be subject to strict punishments.

The order came from the fact that in early 2018, the sector faced difficulties in controlling product quality and pressures from the DOC inspection programme.

As of September 30, the water surface area used for tra fish farming hit 4,471ha, up 10 percent year-on-year, and total productivity reaching 942,000 tonnes, an annual increase of 9.3 percent. The export value during the period amounted to 1.68 billion USD, rising 29.2 percent year-on-year.

Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said that tra fish exports will continue to increase in the last months of this year, so total export values will reach 2.1 billion USD, up 22 percent compared to 2017.

Hoe was quoted by congthuong.vn as saying that from late September to mid-October, the price for raw material of tra fish in the Mekong River delta has stood at 35,000-36,000 VND (1.5-1.55 USD) per kilo. With that price, farmers earn from 6,000 VND to 9,000 VND per kilo.

Now, tra fish processing enterprises are purchasing raw materials to process export products for higher demand on global markets by the end of 2018.–VNA