After many months of staying firmly at low levels of
18,000-23,000 dong per kilo, the tra price has moved to 26,000 dong, then
27,000 dong or 29,000 dong. However, ironically, both farmers and exporters in
Mekong Delta have anticipated the loss in the period when the price climbs to
the highest ever level.
Price up, profit down
Some big tra fish exporters have affirmed that with the
current tra fish prices, farmers would get the profit of 5000 dong per kilo at
minimum, because the total production cost is just 20,000 dong.
However, farmers said they are facing the danger of taking
loss. Deputy Chair of the An Giang province Aquaculture Association Le Chi Binh
said that with the current sale prices, if farmers use industrial feed, they
would break even. But if exporters delay the payment for one month or longer,
they would take loss. Meanwhile, payment delay proves to be a high risk,
because it is very difficult to access bank loans at this moment.
In fact, exporters usually delayed the payment in the past.
However, in the current difficult conditions, this could be “the final straw”
which may make farmers unbearable.
Unlike export companies which have aquaculture areas,
farmers now cannot get the tax refund for feed purchases, which makes the
production cost increase by 2000 dong per kilo. Besides, they cannot borrow
money from banks at reasonable interest rates due to the banks’ policy to
Meanwhile, the investment rate for 100 tons of fish has
galloped from 1.5 billion dong in 2010 to 2.5 billion dong.
Not only farmers, export companies are also facing the risk
of taking loss. The floor export price is 3.2 dollars per kilo of filet products,
which means that companies have to buy materials at 24,000 dong per kilo.
Meanwhile, in fact, they have to pay 26,000 dong, or 29,000 dong per kilo.
Tran Van Hung, Chair of Hung Ca Company in Dong Thap
province said that some of the workers of the company, after a period of
working there, have left the company to run their own business. They do not
spend money to develop the material areas; therefore, they raise the collection
price to 29,000 dong per kilo to scramble with other seafood companies.
Selling gold at the
prices of scrap iron
A lot of scientific research works have confirmed the high
nutrition value in tra fish. However, the products have been sold at
surprisingly low prices.
Dr Nguyen Tri Khiem from the An Giang University has pointed
out that though tra fish could be considered as “gold” for its value, it has
been sold at the prices of the “scrap iron”. A lot of Vietnamese enterprises
have been found as exporting products at the prices lower than the floor prices
set up by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers VASEP, or
even lower than the production costs.
Tra Quynh Hoa, Director of Hoang Long Company in Dong Thap
province has confirmed that when Hoang Long offers the exports at the floor
prices, its loyal clients said that other companies offered the same products
at lower prices.
Nguyen Phuoc Tuyen from the Dong Thap provincial Department
of Agriculture and Rural Development has pointed out that it is really
“dangerous” that Vietnamese companies sell at such low prices. Even if
companies export at the floor price, this means that they undervalue the
products and sell products dirt cheap.
“3.2 dollars per kilo
means the material price at 24,000 dong per kilo. Meanwhile, 24,000 dong is not
high enough to buy a kilo of “dua mam,” a kind of food for popular people.
Source: Lao dong