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Concern over Export Price Cuts

VIET NAM - A surplus of Pangasius (tra and basa catfish) in Viet Nam is has made exporters cut prices, sometimes under cost.

Importers have also been taking advantage of the oversupply by renegotiating deals to slash export prices.

Duong Ngoc Minh, general director of Hung Vuong Joint Stock Company, told the Vietnamese newsagaency, Thanh Nien, many catfish export businesses have even taken the initiative to mark down prices.

Vietnam has more than 100 factories processing seafood for export and more than 200 fish trading enterprises.

At present, export prices are down by two to five per cent compared to earlier this year.

Minh said major catfish businesses will incur heavy losses if export prices continue to fall.

Many fish farmers have complained that catfish processors and exporters pressured them into selling tra and basa at low prices.

And the exporters have also been accused of rating farmers’ raised stocks at low quality to control price levels.

Minh said the rating of fish is based on the colour of their fillets after processing – with four categories of white, pink, pale yellow, and yellow.

The fish farmers believe that their stocks are being unfairly rated.

Minh said his company will increase purchases of tra and basastocks from fish farmers in Tien Giang and Vinh Long provinces and pay in advance to needy farmers to help them buy food for their fish.