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August 31, 2015


Farmed Crab Prices Drop Dramatically


In Vietnam’s Ca Mau Province, at the very southern tip of the country, crab prices were steady for the first five months of 2015, but fell from $8.90 a kilogram in May to $6.23 a kilo in August.  Nguyen Van Thoai, a crab farmer in Ca Mau’s Phu Tan District, said these were the lowest prices he had seen in decades.


Crab farmers say the main reason for the decline is that Chinese traders have stopped buying.  Vo Ngoc Hung, a trader specializing in crabs in Nam Can Town, said his exports to China have declined from a ton a day in May to 200–300 kilos a day in August.  Chau Cong Bang, deputy director of the Ca Mau Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the depreciation of the Chinese yuan is partly to blame for the decline in seafood exports to China.  Vietnam’s Mothers Day (the Buddhist Vu Lan Festival) also occurs in mid-summer, and crab prices usually fall during this period because, presumably, the Moms take some time off from cooking.


Ca Mau is the country’s largest crab breeding province, with most farms located in the districts of Nam Can, Ngoc Hien, Phu Tan and Cai Nuoc.  Statistics from the Ca Mau Department of Agriculture and Rural Development show annual crab exports, mainly to China, amount to tens of thousands of metric tons a year.


Sources: 1. VietNamNews.  Crab Prices Fall to Their Lowest in Decades.  Le Hung Vong.  August 31 2015.  2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International.  August 31, 2015.

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