The US Department of Commerce (DoC) has announced its final decision on the seventh preliminary results of administrative review (POR7) for anti-dumping duties on tra fish fillets imported from Vietnam, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Under the decision, the DoC chooses Bangladesh as the sole benchmark for calculating the anti-dumping rate and decides to grant a 0 to 1 percent tax for 13 Vietnamese exporters between August 1, 2009 and July 31, 2010, said Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP general secretary.

Vinh Hoan Corp enjoys a zero tax rate while the US imposes a 1 percent rate on 12 other companies and the remaining exporters are taxed 6.44 percent.

This is the third consecutive period that Vinh Hoan has been awarded a zero tax rate, Hoe said.

An initial review released by the US in September 2011 based the benchmark rate on both Bangladesh and Indonesia, and will have led to some exporters paying up to a 15 percent anti-dumping tax. However, following petitioning by State agencies requesting the benchmark be based on one country as in previous reviews, the DoC amended its review in favour of Vietnamese exporters.

VASEP estimated that last year, tra fish exports reached over 600,000 tonnes, up 3 percent over the previous year. According to customs' statistics, tra fish export value reached around 1.8 billion USD in 2011, a year-on-year increase of 26.5 percent.

Frozen fillets were the main export, accounting for 99 percent of total export value.

Export markets remained practically unchanged last year, with the US and the EU representing a combined 47 percent of Vietnam's total tra fish exports. Fluctuation was only seen in some small groups of markets, possibly due to unstable demand, VASEP said.

The US last year imported 331.6 million USD worth of tra fillets, an increase of 87.8 percent over the previous year, with the market share here rising from 11 to 18 percent.

The association expected tra fish exports to reach 2 billion USD this year if the industry was given capital preference and annual interest rates fell below 15 percent./.