Economic Sector

Last updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Raw Catfish Price Hike Likely to Weaken Competitiveness

Posted: Tuesday, May 22, 2018

After several months of price hikes, by the end of April, raw catfish reached a record high. As a result, selling price of catfish in markets increased, raising a concern that the competitiveness of Vietnamese catfish may be reduced in these markets.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, since early 2018, catfish processing in many localities of the Mekong Delta has faced the lack of catfish fry and raw catfish as material for export, as a consequence of 2017. Thus, raw catfish has kept going up in price.

Specifically, in January 2018, raw catfish in the Mekong Delta remained high in price, ranging from VND27,000 to VND29,000 /kg subject to its quality and size and payment method.

In February 2018, raw catfish price in the Mekong Delta market was still high with scarce supply resources. The price fluctuated at VND27,000 - 29,000/kg depending on its quality and size and payment method. In An Giang province, the price was pushed up at VND29,000 - 32,000/kg.

Before the Lunar New Year, raw catfish processing plants in the provinces of Dong Thap, An Giang and Can Tho halted purchasing new raw catfish to focus on filling pre-Lunar New Year remaining orders. These plants have started purchasing again only since the beginning of the lunar year.

Raw catfish market in the Mekong Delta in March 2018 continued being hot in the context of scarce supply. The popular price ranged from VND28,000 to 30,000/kg. Yet, it was even pushed up to VND31,000 - 32,500/kg in some places. That price was increased by VND4,000 - 5,000/kg over the same period last year. In particular, catfish fry also increased by 2-3 times in price, fluctuating at VND70,000 - 80,000/kg subject to categories because of scarce resources.

By the end of April, the first category raw catfish raised in price to VND33,500/kg. This is a record increase in price to date. Facing this situation, the Vietnam Fisheries Association and many businesses are concerned that such a sudden increase in price of catfish for export shall make clients difficult to accept and its competition with white fish products shall become fiercer.

Thanks to the increase in price of raw catfish for export, in the first four months of 2018, the total area for catfish farming in 10 key provinces of the Mekong Delta reached 2,886 ha, up 6 per cent over the same period last year with total output achieving over 347,100 tonnes, an increase by eight per cent over the same period in 2017.

The key provinces with high output are Dong Thap (118,400 tonnes in output, up nine per cent over the same period last year), An Giang (98,100 tonnes, up three per cent over the same period last year), Can Tho (13,200 tonnes, up 18.3 per cent over the same period last year).

However, some other localities such as Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Kien Giang and Hau Giang are seeing a sharp drop in yield compared to the same period of 2017.

Nguyen Thanh

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