Resumption of tra fish exports to Russia expected

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Vietnam is expected to resume tra fish (pangasius) exports to Russia later this month following the expiration of a short-term restriction imposed in March, an agricultural official said.

"Vietnamese tra fish export administrators have worked with Russia's quality control agencies, and the prospects for an import resumption are good," said Luong Le Phuong, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Phuong said tra fish exports to Russia this year may face more diffciulties as Russian authorities plan to tighten both import volumes and quality control to protect the Russian fisheries sector.

But he still said it was unlikely there would be another ban on tra fish imports like the one that occured in 2008.

Russia placed a ban on Vietnamese fish in late 2008 following quality concerns. The country resumed seafood imports from Vietnam in May 2009 after inspections found the products were safe. But in March this year, another two-month restriction ensued.

Phuong said Russia's demand for seafood products is rising, encouraging more Vietnamese exporters to boost their shipments to the former Soviet republic. Russian importers are no longer delaying their payments, which used to be a problem, he said.

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