Next year could prove a difficult year for the tra fish exports because the industry is expected to face a shortage of raw material, said Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
HA NOI —
Tra fish output is expected to decrease by half to 700,000 tonnes this year, he said.
Industry experts said farmers saw an excess of raw material in 2008, leading to huge losses and causing them to breed other kinds of fish.
This year, the total water area available for rearing tra fish reduced by 40-50 per cent in the Cuu Long Delta Provinces, including Soc Trang and Tien Giang. As a result, total output dropped by 70 per cent against last year.
As the number of processing factories rises, material shortages become more severe. Almost all factories operate at 30 per cent capacity.
As shortages pushed prices up, farmers stopped producing to wait for prices to increase even further. Meanwhile export processors failed to meet delivery deadlines.
Nguyen Van Sang, deputy head of the Research Institute of Seafood 2, said it's about time the fisheries industry re-organised its seafood processing factories and built sustainable regions to produce raw material. He hoped that a coming decree would help develop these areas.
Relevant sectors should co-operate with enterprises and farmers to reduce production and consumption risks in the near future, Sang said.
VASEP said the country was expected to export 600,000 tonnes of tra fish this year, earning US$1.5 billion, $160 million more than last year. Unfortunately, due to the material shortages, the export value in 2011 is estimated to drop to $1 billion. — VNS