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May 12, 2014



Mekong Delta Prices Drop as Much as 37%


Prices of unprocessed white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) in the Mekong Delta have declined significantly in the past three months, forcing farmers to harvest early to prevent further losses.


Depending on shrimp size, whole, white shrimp now sell for between $5.17 and $7.83 a kilogram, down by nearly $0.47 a kilo from last week and over $2.47 a kilo from the end of February, representing a drop of about 37%.


Ly Van Thuan, general secretary of Ca Mau Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (CASEP), said that farmers harvested their shrimp early as news about anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnamese shrimp exports to the United States and stricter controls on antibiotic residues in Vietnamese shrimp shipments to Japan and the European Union spread across the Delta.  Weather changes between the wet and dry seasons in the Mekong Delta also affected the quality of shrimp and added to the drop in prices.


Rapid expansion of white shrimp farming in early 2014 has also contributed to the decline in prices, with an additional 1,500 hectares in Ca Mau Province, compared to the end of 2013.  As of late April 2014, Tra Vinh Province had 35,300 hectares of shrimp ponds, up more than 29% over last year, and the area it devoted to white shrimp farming increased six-fold.


A recent survey by the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development indicated strong increases in shrimp production the Delta during the first four months of 2014, with increases of 94% in Ben Tre Province, over 13% in Kien Giang Province and more than 12% in Ca Mau Province.


Bui Hoang Anh, a shrimp farmer in Soc Trang Province, said falling prices for white shrimp caused many farmers to switch to tiger shrimp (P. monodon) farming Prices for whole tiger shrimp have remained stable at between $10.20 to $13.53 a kilo, depending on size.


Source: (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email  Vietnamese Farmers Harvest Shrimp Early as Prices Fall 37% on Higher Production. Michael Ramsingh (phone 1-732-240-5330, email  May 12, 2014.

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