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April 16, 2014


Costs Rise and Prices Drop


In the first week of April 2004, farm-gate prices for tiger shrimp (no size given) in the Mekong Delta dropped by $0.47 to $1.42 a kilo, compared to prices two weeks earlier.  Processors forced the prices down because their costs were rising.  On April 14, 2014, tiger shrimp (no size given) sold for $4.27 to $5.46 a kilo.


Nguyen Van Kich, general director of the Cafatex Group in Hau Giang Province, said the spike in prices at the end of 2013 in Vietnam and other Asian countries caused importers to reduce their orders.  As a result of the reduced demand, prices dropped at the beginning of 2014.


Nguyen Van Tuan, who transports unprocessed shrimp for seafood exporters in the Mekong Delta, said exporters cut prices to shrimp farmers to offset their increased transportation costs.


Despite rising costs, some seafood firms performed well in the first quarter of 2014.  For example, Fimex earned roughly $26 million from exporting 1,860 tons of frozen shrimp in the first quarter of 2014, a year-on-year rise of 40% in volume and 84% in revenue.


Other exporters reported significant increases in their shrimp export revenues in the first two months of this year, thanks to a higher export prices, $14.47 per kilo on average against $10.50 in the first two months of 2013.


Despite agriculture agencies’ warnings to restrict the conversion from white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) to tiger (P. monodon) shrimp farming, many farmers in Dong Thap, An Giang and other provinces in the Mekong Delta have shifted from rice, fish and tiger shrimpfarming to white shrimp farming.  According to farmers in Dong Thap Province, they recently got a price of $7.07 per kilogram for white shrimp (size not given) after 80 days of culture, making white shrimp more profitable than rice, fish or tiger shrimp farming.  Because of problems with saltwater intrusion, the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries has warned farmers not to grow white shrimp in areas suitable for freshwater fish farming.  The Directorate also said diseases in white shrimp were not under control.


Source: Bá  Rising Input Costs Pull Shrimp Prices Down in Delta.  Trung Chanh and Ngoc Tung.  April 15, 2014.

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