At the conference on implementing solutions to develop livestock and fisheries in the new situation held on the morning of April 26, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said that aquaculture farmers are facing many difficulties and only maintain a farming area of 1.3 million hectares with a production of about 4.75 million tons this year.
Mr. Cao Luong Tri, a pangasius fish farmer in Long Xuyen City in An Giang Province, said that he had more than 400 tons of pangasius fish that had passed the harvest date for a long time but he could not sell them because fish processing factories were buying slowly.
Chinese authorities might strengthen food safety inspection, supervision, quarantine testing, and traceability on imported agricultural and aquatic products that will possibly affect the progress of customs clearance of goods at border gates between Vietnam and China.
According to the latest statistics of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, seafood exports in March this year were estimated to drop by nearly 20 percent compared to the same period last year, merely reaching US$549 million.
According to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), due to impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, most enterprises have suffered a decline of 35-50 percent in export orders as they were canceled and delayed or faced a shortage of raw materials.
In 2018, the prices of pangasius fish fluctuated at VND29,000 per kilogram and sometime in September and October jumped to VND34,000-VND36,000 per kilogram, helping export turnover of pangasius fish to reach VND2.26 billion, up 26.5 percent. However, in the first eight months of this year, the situation was fairly gloomy.
After strongly increasing for a long time, the prices of raw pangasius fish in provinces in the Mekong Delta dropped to around VND23,000-VND25,000 per kilogram, at which farmers were only able to break even.
Pangasius fish price has remained high before the Tet holiday until now, approximating VND28,000-30,000 a kilogram, said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Binh, director of Chau Thanh Seafood Cooperative in Dong Thap province yesterday.
Pangasius fish price reached ten year high swinging about VND28,000 a kilogram in 2017, when businesses saw many challenges from traditional markets such as the US and the EU but wide open opportunities from China and some other markets.
Seafood export value was estimated to top US$700 million in November and reach the highest ever of $7.5 billion during the first 11 months this year, up 18 percent over the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to information from a businessman attending global seafood conference in Bali, Indonesia, seafood import market will move toward Asian region comprising Japan, South Korea and China in the near future.