Surging exports may push up prices by 20-30%, to the detriment of domestic supply.
The export price for tra fish is forecast to rise by between 20 and 30 per cent in April in key import markets due to a lack of domestic supply, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
Tra fish export turnover to China in January was over $17 million, a 33.2 per cent increase year-on-year and accounting for 11.5 per cent of all tra fish exports. China is the world’s third-largest tra fish importer, behind the US and the EU.
Tra fish exports to China have increased dramatically in 2015 and have continued to do so but the market share available to Vietnamese exporters remains huge.
Twenty-three Vietnamese exporters are also now eligible to export to the US under a decision by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), with an increase in the export price expected to result.
As exports increase, supply for domestic demand will become lower. The country’s tra fish processors require 3,500 tonnes a day, said Mr. Duong Ngoc Minh, Deputy Chairman of VASEP.
All available sources can meet only 70 per cent of this demand, however, and will fall further over the next few months. The supply of tra fish is expected to meet just 50 per cent of daily demand, or 1,700 tonnes, from June to the first quarter of 2017, Mr. Minh said.