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Vietnamese Shrimp Processing Sales Down

by the Fish Site Editor
29 April 2009, at 1:00am

VIET NAM - Seafood exporters are facing a critical shortage of raw shrimp that may last several months, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said.

The ministry has said that many farmers have stopped breeding shrimp and the area under shrimp farms shrank 8 per cent in the first quarter after incurring losses last year, report ThahnienNews.

In addition, more than 264,500 hectares of shrimp ponds in Ca Mau Province and another 125,000 hectares in Bac Lieu Province have remained idle since the beginning of this year.

Last year, the price of shrimp dropped to VND55,000-60,000 (US$3.09-3.37) a kilogramme at times.

Now they have risen to VND140,000. The ministry said many processors have even offered to pay shrimp farmers more than their export prices to keep their commitments to long-term foreign clients.

Tran Thien Hai, director of Minh Hai Seafood Company in Ca Mau Province, said recently farmers have been able to supply only 40 per cent of the shrimp his company needs of around 50 tonnes a day.

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, or VASEP, said 35-40 per cent of the shrimp processing plants in the Mekong Delta have cut back on production this year because of the raw material shortage. In Ca Mau Province, more than half of them have had to lay off workers.

According to the agricultural ministry, despite the high prices now, many farmers are reluctant to start farming shrimp again because of a cash crunch. As a result, the shortage could persist for the next several months, it said.

the Fish Site Editor

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