By Khac Tam - Mau Truong - Nguyen Hung - Tuoitre Online (TTO)
Sunday, December 8, 2019, 9:46 (GMT+7)
English version: by Silvera Food Trading Co., Ltd
TTO - After nearly 3 years of continuously being maintained at a low level, the price of vannamei (whiteleg) shrimp in the Mekong Delta has increased sharply due to scarce supplies.
Shrimp Farmers Experienced The Joy Of A Good Crop And Great Prices. Credit: Khac Tam
Seafood processing enterprises have to go back and forth to look for raw materials but still cannot get enough shrimp for their pending orders.
With the current increase of between 15,000 and 45,000 VND (Vietnam Dong)/ kg (exchange rate 23,100 VND/ USD) depending on sizes, shrimp farmers in the Mekong Delta have yielded great profits. However, many experts recommend that farmers should not rush to stock new shrimp ponds to avoid an excessive supply, especially in the context of Vietnam’s shrimp being largely subject to the Chinese market.
Shrimp prices increase day by day
Mr. Nguyen Van Sen - a farmer in Vinh Chau Commune, Soc Trang Province - said it has been a long time since shrimp farmers experienced the joy of a good crop and great prices. After more than 3 months of stocking 350,000 vannamei shrimp fingerlings, his grown shrimps reaching the size of 40 pieces/ kg are now ready for harvest with a quatity of roughly 10 tons.
The traders’ purchase price at pond of vannamei shrimp is around 146,000 VND/ kg, which leaves Mr. Sen around 700 million VND after all the costs are taken out. “With the the current price of material shrimp, after deducting the costs, farmers have a profit of about 70,000 VND/ kg, which means the Return on Investment is 1 to 1," - Sen said.
Mr. Nguyen Van Phong (Thanh Tri Commune, Binh Dai District, Ben Tre Province) also said his family has just harvested two ponds of more than 8 tons. Because his shrimp size was 30 pieces/ kg, the price was high - over 175,000 VND/ kg, up by more than 40,000 VND/ kg compared to a few months ago.
Vannamei Shrimp PDTO (Peeled Deveined Tail On). Credit: Silvera Food
"Fortunately, thanks to this bumper shrimp crop with high selling prices, we could recoup the invested capital. If not, we would not have been able to pay the debt, let alone talking about the capital to re-invest for the next crop" - Mr. Phong said. In the previous crop, due to low shrimp prices, high levels of mortality, and unsatisfactory production, Mr. Phong's family suffered heavy losses.
Having farmed shrimp for more than 20 years, Mr. Tran Van Thuan (Lieu Tu Commune, Tran De District, Soc Trang Province) said traders have never "taken care of” shrimp farmers as well as now. Knowing that his family has nearly 15 tons of vannamei shrimp about to be harvested, traders have been calling and coming to his home, begging him to sell his shrimp to them. "Everyone wants to buy at all costs. On top of offering high prices, they commit to pay cash at the pond right after weighing the shrimp,” - Mr. Thuan said.
Mr. Hoang Van Thanh - a trader purchasing raw shrimp in Dam Doi District (Ca Mau Province) - said that due to crop failures and the main crop not coming yet, there has been little of shrimp materials recently. "In the last two months, no matter how hard I tried to run back and forth to find suppliers, I could not buy much shrimp. O some days, it was only a few hundred kilograms. If I had more, I could sell out whatever quantity I had.” - Mr. Thanh said regrettably.
Raw shrimp materials are scarce
Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong – the owner of a shrimp storehouse in My Xuyen District, Soc Trang Province - said the price of raw shrimp in recent days have been “dancing” unpredictably, with some days’ increase of up to 3,000 VND/ kg. In early November, shrimp size of 40 pieces/ kg did not reach 120,000 VND/ kg, but it has now increased by 24,000 to 144,000 VND/ kg - the highest in the last 4 years. "However, the price of shrimp has not shown signs of cooling down and is expected to increase in the coming days" - Ms. Hong said.
In Ben Tre Province, the price of material shrimp is even "hotter". Shrimp sizes of 20-30 pieces/ kg are now offered by traders for 175,000-190,000 VND/ kg - an increase of more than 50,000 VND/ kg compared to three months ago. Shrimp price of the size 100 pieces/ kg has also increased slightly and is being bought at more than 100,000 VND/ kg by traders.
According to Mr. Vo Van Phuc - General Director of Vina Cleanfood, due to the low shrimp yields this year, the price of raw shrimp in the last months has increased sharply. Many traders in other places have flocked to Soc Trang Province to buy raw materials and offer attractive prices. However, as natives to the area, businesses located in Soc Trang Province has more advantages in this competition for shrimp materials. Farmers would still prefer selling their shrimp to their long-lasting traditional partners.
Mr. Tran Van Trung - Director of Anh Khoa Seafood in Ca Mau Province - also said that the company is having difficulty in finding raw materials as the supplies are not only scarce but the price is also very high with an average increase of 15-20%. This also has affected the shrimp export situation this year.
"Black tiger shrimp and vannamei shrimp both have had a much lower revenue compared to last year and the quantity of raw shrimp has also dropped a lot. The problem of finding raw shrimp for export from now till the end of the year has not shown any positive signs," - Mr. Trung commented.
Black Tiger Shrimp HLSO (Headless Shell On). Credit: Silvera Food
According to Mr. Ho Quoc Luc - General Director of FIMEX (Soc Trang Province), due to the lack of materials for processing, factories have to compete for the material so they could “pay off” the pending signed contracts, causing the recent escalating shrimp prices. "Contracted prices (with the importers) cannot be increased, so the more the factories buy, the more they suffer from losses," Mr. Luc said.
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