Export processors face shrimp shortage

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
8 March 2006, at 12:00am

VIETNAM - Seafood exporters in Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces are reporting shortages of shrimp stocks for processing, which have contributed to price increases, according to the Ministry of Fisheries. It said several seafood processing factories in the region, including those in Ca Mau, Bac Lieu and Soc Trang, faced critical shortages. The ministry said as the most recent harvest of shrimp came to a close, farmers reported large-scale deaths of shrimp on some farms over past few weeks while others focused on upgrading ponds for the next crop. The shortage has led to sharp price increases, said the ministry. Prices on local markets rose by VND20,000-30,000 per kilogram to VND150,000-170,000 for a kilogram comprised of 20 large shrimp; VND120,000-150,000 per kilogram of medium-sized shrimp; and VND100,000 for a kilogram of small shrimp. Nguyen Van Kich, director of Can Tho Export Seafood Processing Enterprise (Cafatex) said most shrimp exporters in the province of Can Tho now operate at an average of 40-50 per cent of capacity. He said his company was now using shrimp reserves for processing. The fisheries ministry recently reported 21 export seafood processors in the province- with a combined capacity to process over 100,000 tonnes of seafood each year- recorded only moderate output in the past few months. Many companies said they were forced to decline orders because of the shortages. Source: