Prices of tra fish for processing have increased in response to high demand from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces.
The Dong Thap Agriculture and Rural Development Department said, in Dong Thap province, the price has surged by 3,000-4,500 VND per kilo year-on-year to 22,000-25,000 VND for tra fish pieces, weighing 0.7-0.8 kilo per unit year-on-year.
Meanwhile, the price of tra fish varieties also went up by 10,000 VND per kilo to 35,000-36,000 VND for 30 units per kilo some two months before the Tet festival because of the higher prices of tra fish pieces.
The province has dedicated 2,000ha of land to rearing tra fish each year, with a capacity to produce 358 tonnes of tra fish per hectare, the department said.
Farmers and tra fish export processing enterprises in Dong Thap have seen a profit based on the current prices.
Most of these enterprises rear tra fish under the safety standards of Global GAP, VietGAP, Best Aquaculture Practices and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council to ensure an adequate supply of high-quality raw materials for export processing.
According to Dong Thap’s development plan, by 2020, the total output of rearing tra fish will reach 541,000 tonnes, and the province’s total capacity of processed tra fish will be 250,000 tonnes.
Tra fish will be one of five key products included in the provincial restructuring plan for agriculture.
Enterprises in the Mekong Delta localities expected prices to continue rising because the current fish supply for processors has reached 50 per cent of demand, at 4,500 tonnes per day.
Ho Van Vang, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tra Fish Association, said export orders for tra fish early this year rose by 10 percent year-on-year, while the output of tra fish reared in 2016 for export processing fell because farmers had suffered losses in tra fish development last year.
Despite the higher prices of tra fish for processing, farmers have not increased the area dedicated to rearing tra fish as they do not expect the price to remain at its current high level over the next 6-8 months, according to the association.
So far, Can Tho city has dedicated 334ha to breading tra fish, or 79 percent of the total area rearing tra fish in the same period last year, and its total output is 12,000 tonnes, or 78 percent of the total output year-on-year, said representatives of the Can Tho Fishery Sub-department./.