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Viet Nam Catfish exports soar

VIET NAM The Viet Nam tra and basa catfish industry saw record export earnings of US$661 million this year, twice as much as last years figure ($328 million), said the Ministry of Fisheries.

A catfish pond in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta city of Can Tho. The country exported US$661 million worth of tra and basa catfish this year, double last year’s figure. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
Processed tra and basa reached 250,000 tonnes from the 800,000 tonnes of fish harvested, said the ministry.

The fish were exported to 65 countries, a increase from 50 last year, it said.

The European Union has become the major consumer of Vietnamese tra and basa fish, said the ministry. European exports represented 64 per cent of total international shipments, up 136 per cent in quantity and 158 per cent in value over last year.

Exports to Russia soared, increasing 15 times in quantity and 16 times in value over last year. The country accounted for 11.2 per cent of all exports.

Exports to the US represented only 9.8 per cent of the overall total, but still saw a gain of 57.6 per cent in quantity and 100 per cent in value. ASEAN countries accounted for 8.7 per cent of exports, according to the ministry.

The ministry expected markets for Vietnamese tra and basa would continue to grow next year. Export prices could rise and export value might increase 2.5 times, reaching $1.5-1.8 billion.

The Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers general secretary Nguyen Huu Dung said that tra and basa export earnings might reach $150 million a month next year.

The association would develop community-based organisations of breeding management and concentrated breeding areas next year, it said. It would also focus on multiplying breeds and applying biotechnology in a bid to develop tra and basa catfish products in accordance with its strategy to develop the fisheries sector from 2007-10.

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