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U.S. extended review on Vietnamese catfish

VIET NAM - The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) has extended its announcement of the results of the third administrative review on frozen catfish fillets imported from Vietnam, local newspaper Vietnam News reported on Tuesday.

The deadline passed on Jan. 17, but the department said it could not complete the review as scheduled and needed more time to evaluate the answers of defendants, said the report. The administrative review is being undertaken to allow the DOC to reconsider allegations that Vietnamese firms dumped tra and basa catfish on the U.S. market during certain periods.

In September 2007, the DOC set the preliminary anti-dumping tariff of 63.88 percent for all lots of Vietnam-origin catfish shipped to the United States, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said.

Last month, the Catfish Farmers of America, an organization representing the largest aquaculture industry in the United States, removed 27 Vietnam's catfish exporters off the list of companies subject to the fourth administrative review.

The fourth administrative review will look at lots of Vietnam-origin catfish exported to the United States between Aug. 1, 2006 and July 31, 2007.

Vietnam has targeted seafood export turnover of nearly 4.3 billion U.S. dollars this year, up 13.2 percent over last year, the Planning Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development told Xinhua recently.

To this end, Vietnam will strengthen seafood export to such traditional markets as China, the United States, the European Union, Japan, South Korea and Canada, and further tap new ones like the Middle East, East Europe, Africa and South America,

Vietnam reaped nearly 3.8 billion dollars from exporting different kinds of seafood, including shrimps, prawns, catfish, octopuses and cuttlefish in 2007, up 12.9 percent against 2006, the department said.