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Price of Export Shrimp Rises Sharply

VIET NAM - The wholesale price of Vietnamese blue-legged-prawn has seen an increase in Japan, said Viet Nam Trade Office's branch in Osaka.

In Tokyo, the price increased by 20 per cent to 1,167 yen (US$11.75) per kilo over the price at the end of last year, the branch said, adding that import price of the Vietnamese prawn to Japan also increased by $1.5- 2 per kilo.

Those increases were attributed to the decline of supply on the world market combined with an increase in demand by Japanese households.

The trend in the last few years had been a decline in demand for imported shrimp in Japan, so the sales price to that market had dropped accordingly last year. In recent months, however, the Japanese have been going out to eat less and cooking at home more to save money during difficult economic period. The imported frozen prawn is a popular food item to cook at home.

Lack of material

Demand for shrimp products has increased on the world market, but shrimp processors in Viet Nam have lacked shrimp supply for processing for exports.

The lack of material was due to farmers experiencing revenue loss from raising shrimp for export last year, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The total shrimp farming area nationwide in the first quarter of this year declined 8 per cent over the same period of last year. Ca Mau Province saw a decrease of 264,500ha of shrimp farming area, 125,000ha in southern Bac Lieu Province and 45,000ha in southern Kien Giang Province.

The lack of material forced 14 out of 26 shrimp processors in Ca Mau Province to temporarily halt production.

Tran Thien Hai, director of Minh Hai Seafood Joint Stock Company said the company was only able to buy 20 tonnes of shrimp to process per day, while normally it would need 50 tonnes.

Some processors had to accept a 10-15 per cent increase in the purchasing price of shrimp.

The export value of shrimp in the first quarter of this year declined 1.7 per cent to $144.5 million.

the Fish Site Editor

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