“Farmer – exporter war” inhibits shrimp export

VietNamNet Bridge – Shrimp exporters have been gearing up to fulfill the export contracts. Meanwhile, farmers refuse to sell shrimp at this moment, because they hope the prices would go up in the future.

shrimp war, shrimp breeders, shrimp exporters, price

Big difficulties, one after another, have come to seafood processing companies. Chinese businessmen jumped into the domestic material market, scrambling for materials, thus rushing up the shrimp prices by two folds. Meanwhile, farmers recently have refused to sell shrimp, because they believe the prices would increase further.

Shrimp export companies have been put on tenterhooks as they are seriously lacking materials for processing.

The farmers in the coastal districts of Tra Vinh province, including Duyen Hai, Cau Ngang, Tra Cu and Chau Thanh began the shrimp harvesting in mid- September, expecting a bountiful crop.

However, the local seafood processing companies remain thirsty for materials. The merchants from other localities have come to collect shrimp in large quantities. The “war” between the local companies and the merchants has made the shrimp prices increase day by day.

The representative of the Cuu Long Seafood Processing and Export Company said though the company sets a relatively high price, which is half as high against the last year’s price, it still cannot collect shrimp.

The more the shrimp prices increase, the less shrimp products are available on the market. The upward trend in shrimp price has prompted farmers to hoard shrimp for selling later, when the prices go up.

It was the lack of shrimp, not the lack of orders, which has hindered the shrimp export. The company reportedly fulfilled only 53 percent of the yearly export plan after the first eight months of the year.

In Ca Mau province, the black tiger shrimp price has soared to VND240,000 per kilo, while it was VND170,000 per kilo last year and VND200,000 per kilo two months ago.

The shrimp hatchery area in the locality had reached 267,000 hectares by the end of September 2013. Local farmers have harvested 100,000 tons, or 78 percent of the yearly plan. As the shrimp price increases continuously, farmers decide to take risks by hoarding shrimp and waiting for the prices to increase.

This has pushed Vietnamese seafood processing companies into deadlock. They need to deliver products by the end of the year to fulfill the export contracts, but still don’t have materials for the production.

Thirty one out of the 32 seafood processing companies in Ca Mau province, the locality with the highest shrimp farming area and biggest output, have been reportedly running at 30-40 percent of the capacity.

Minh Phu Seafood Company has warned farmers against hoarding materials. The farmers’ move will not only put big difficulties for enterprises, but for themselves as well.

Le Van Quang, General Director of Minh Phu Group, said farmers would suffer heavily if epidemics break out, or the shrimp price goes down.

“They (farmers) believe that the prices would continue rising, and they keep shrimps at ponds instead of selling to exporters. It is very dangerous,” Quang said.

Also according to Quang, most of the seafood processors are about to fulfill the export contracts prior to October 15, 2013. After that, the demand for shrimp would decrease which would force the prices down.

Chi Mai

shrimp war, shrimp breeders, shrimp exporters, price