Tra fish export price forecast to surge hinh anh 1Tra fish processing for export (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The tra fish (pangasius) export price is forecast to rise between 20 to 30 percent in April in key import markets due to a lack of domestic supply, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

In the first two months of the year, China was Vietnam’s third biggest tra fish importer, following the US and the EU, with an increase of 33.3 percent in export value from the same period last year, accounting for 11.5 percent of the total tra fish exports.

The export price in the US is also expected to rise at the same rate, partly due to a rise in expenditures following recently approved inspection regulations issued by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

In the reviewed period, Vietnam saw a year-on-year increase of 8.3 percent in its tra fish export value, while output dropped 17 percent from the same period last year to 114,000 tonnes, the association said.

Material output recorded a year-on-year decrease of 40 percent, VASEP Vice President Duong Ngoc Minh said, adding that the trend will continue.

The limited supply can only meet the demand of the three key import markets – the US , the EU and China , Minh added.

Minh pointed to the cause of the drop in tra fish supplies, saying that many farmers and households stopped raising tra fish in July last year and shifted to other crops with higher domestic value.

Minh also called on the Government to offer incentives to the sector to ensure production in 2017.

The association plans to develop a number of measures and projects to improve tra fish quality and ensure sustainable production, according to Minh.

The efforts include ranking the sector’s enterprises, mapping out tra fish raising areas, restructuring the sector in the Mekong Delta and setting up an online Mekong Fish Market, Minh said.

According to the association, in 2015 the total tra fish export value reached 1.6 billion USD, 10 percent lower than in 2014.-VNA