Vietnam sets floor export prices for tra fish

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Minimum export prices for Vietnamese tra fish (pangasius) will be applied next month to ensure profits for farmers and prevent exporters from undercutting each other, says the national seafood association.

One kilogram of trimmed tra fillet will be shipped at a minimum price of US$3.3 while untrimmed tra fillet will cost a minimum of $2.3 per kilogram, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) announced at a press briefing in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday.

These floor export prices will be applied to all markets but the US because it is levying anti-dumping taxes on Vietnam's tra fish, the association said.

Meanwhile, the price for raw tra fish bought from farmers must exceed VND26,000 ($1.27) per kilogram if the fish's weight is between 700 and 850 grams. For larger-sized tra fish, the minimum price is VND24,000 ($1.17) per kilogram, the association said.

Duong Ngoc Minh, chairman of VASEP's Freshwater Fish Commission, said, "The floor prices will be adjusted every month in line with production costs to ensure profits for both farmers and companies."

Minh also said VASEP would work with the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department to issue regulations on exporting tra fish to deal with the prevailing situation of small companies borrowing export permits of larger firms to sell low-quality products at low prices.

The two agencies would also announce punishments for enterprises exporting tra fish at below floor prices, he said.

Vietnam is the supplier of more than 95 percent of tra fish in the global market with an annual output of 1.5 million tons, the Vietnam Economic Times reported in April, citing VASEP.

In the first five months of this year, Vietnam exported more than 263,000 tons of tra fish worth nearly $672 million. The figures represented a year-on-year increase of 4.7 percent in volume and 24.7 percent in value.

In related news, VASEP will organize the Vietnam Fisheries International Exhibition 2011, or Vietfish 2011, from June 28 to 30 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The event is expected to attract the participation of more than 190 international and local exhibitors from 11 countries including Thailand, Norway, Germany, Japan and the US.

Apart from displaying aquatic products, the exhibition will also hold workshops on seafood market trends and other issues.

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