Pangasius fish price remains high in Mekong Delta

Pangasius fish prices have remained high swinging from VND27,000-29,000 a kilogram, ensuring big profit for breeders in the Mekong Delta region.

A pangasius fish processing plant in the Mekong Delta (Photo: SGGP)

A pangasius fish processing plant in the Mekong Delta (Photo: SGGP)

An Giang province is one of localities with strength in pangasius fish farming, processing and export for the last many years. Breeders and businesses have recently been excited because of good production and consumption situations.
Mr. Doan Toi, chairman of Nam Viet Corporation (Navico), says that since early days this year, the fish export has kept increasing and the company is expected to obtain the export turnover of about US$12 million in January, up nearly $4 million over the same period last year.
The company’s export turnover hit $90 million with price averaging $2.7-3.7 a kilogram last year. According to this year plan, it will reach $120-130 million.
The prices are forecast to remain high this year but it is unclear in the following year because of technical barriers from many markets. Therefore, breeders should not expand farming area and small breeding households without connectivity with businesses should not start farming the fish to avoid risks, said Mr. Toi.
An Giang province Seafood Farming and Processing Association said that many pangasisus fish processing plants have efficiently operated with wide open markets and good prices. Stable export have brought high selling prices in the Mekong Delta.
Mr. Tran Phung Hoang Tuan, head of An Giang Fishery Department, said that the province has about 833 hectares of pangasius fish with the total output of 287,339 tons.
Cost prices now swing from VND21,000-22,000 a kilogram and selling prices are higher. The fish farming has showed positive changes after many years of price fall and losses.
Mr. Tuan said that according to lessons in previous years when price increase led farmers to broaden farming area, causing output redundancy and price drop. Hence An Giang province has tightly controlled output and ensured that the fish farming must accord plan and follow market demand.
Dong Thap province has 1,505 hectares of pangasius fish farming area with the output of 403,000 tons. Of these, 70 percent are of processing companies and 30 percent of cooperatives and farmers who have signed consumption contracts with businesses.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh from Chau Thanh district says that he is about to sell 300 tons of pangasius fish and businesses have paid him VND28,000-29,000 a kilogram. Profit is expected to reach VND3 billion after deducting costs.
Explaining the high prices, companies said that export to African and Asian markets has been good. Meantime, pangasius output has not been high because of weather and fry quality.
Export difficulties sent many weak processing plants and businesses to shut down in previous years. The remaining ones have invested in modern technologies and stepped up connectivity with farmers to create high quality and value products.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has recently organized a seminar to get opinions for a project on pangasius fry production in the Mekong Delta.
The project aims at raising the high quality fry production area to 1,000 hectares by 2020, meeting 50 percent demand of fries in the region by 2020 and 70 percent by 2025.
The ministry has proposed provinces in the Mekong Delta to create land fund and conditions for businesses to invest in fry production. Authorized agencies will assist them to build technical infrastructures concentrating in An Giang and Dong Thap provinces.
Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam said that fry production is considered to be a breakthrough phase to sustainably develop the fish farming with businesses playing an important role.

By HUYNH PHUOC LOI – Translated by Hai Mien

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