Truong Dinh Hoe, General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), said tra fish exports will continue to increase in the last months of this year so total export value will reach US$2.1 billion, up 22% compared to 2017.
The export value of this product in the first nine months of the year surged year-on-year by 24% to US$1.6 billion, the association said.
Hoe was quoted by congthuong.vn as saying that from late September to now, the price for raw material of tra fish in the Mekong River delta has stood at VND35,000-VND36,000 (US$1.5-1.55) per kilo. With that price, farmers earn from VND6,000 to VND9,000 per kilo.
Now, tra fish processing enterprises are purchasing raw materials to process export products for higher demand on global markets by the end of 2018.
However, they have faced a shortage of raw material for export processing because many farmers have stopped tra fish production as they lack fingerlings, Hoe said.
Nguyen Thi Anh, Director of the Song Tien Seafood Company (SOTICO), agreed there is a lack of raw material of tra fish for export processing by the end of this year. Therefore, her company has not signed more export contracts for tra fish products with foreign partners.
"There is not enough high quality fingerling of tra in the market, making increase in price of fingerling and affecting supply of export tra fish in the last months of this year," Anh said.
Experts said one solution would be localities re-planning their production entirely. They should strengthen application of science and technology, diversify export products and markets, and give priority for value added products.