Tra fish prices at highest level in last 20 years

The price of tra fish in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta has risen to its highest price over the last 20 years, leading to high profits for local farmers.

Farmers harvest tra fish in Can Tho city, Mekong Delta

With the price at VNĐ27,000 - 29,000 (US$1.2 – 1.3) a kilo last month, farmers earned a profit of VNĐ4,000 – 6,000 a kilo, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Directorate of Fisheries. 

In previous years, tra fish farmers faced low prices and sales.

However, last year, farmers made a good profit because of the high price and many sales, according to a representative of the Châu Thành District Tra Fish Breeding Co-operative in Đồng Tháp Province.

The price of tra fish often falls in December because exporters normally complete their export contracts during that month.

Hồ Kim Thoa, a tra fish farmer in Đồng Tháp Province’s Hồng Ngự District, said this was the first time the price of tra fish had increased in December. 

The price of tra fish is expected to remain high because the output in the Delta has not increased much and exports will continue to be strong.

Farmer Huỳnh Quang Khắp in An Giang Province’s Châu Phú District said he had sold two ponds worth of tra fish at a price of VNĐ28,500 a kilo.

“In recent years, the price of tra fish fluctuated, causing heavy losses for farmers. The price of tra fish increased, but not many farmers had fish to sell,” he said.  

Nguyễn Tấn Phong, director of the Đại Thắng Fisheries Co-operative in Hậu Giang Province’s Ngã Bảy Town, said his co-operative had sold 200 tonnes of tra fish for VNĐ28,500 a kilo.

The production cost of tra fish is about VNĐ22,000 a kilo, he said.

Last year, the Delta had about 6,078 ha of tra fish with an output of 1.25 million tonnes, up 3.1 per cent in breeding areas and 5.4 per cent in output against the previous year.

Nguyễn Văn Công, director of the Đồng Tháp Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province’s tra fish breeding area covered 1,500 ha with an output of 400,000 tonnes last year, leading the Delta in tra fish breeding.

Đồng Tháp has improved the quality of tra fish and called on farmers to cooperate with tra fish processors to breed the fish, he said. 

More than 60 per cent of the province’s tra fish breeding area is bred under Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards, he added. With these measures, most farmers and processors have made profits.   

The country’s tra fish exports reached $1.8 billion last year, up 4 per cent against 2016, according to the Việt Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers.

China, the US and the EU are the country’s largest tra fish importers.

Source: Vietnam News