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Shrimp prices shoot up   2009-04-22 - VietNamNet/VOV

The wholesale price of imported Vietnamese blue-legged-prawns has risen in Japan, reported Vietnam Trade Office’s branch in Osaka.

In Tokyo, the price jumped by 20 percent to 1,167 yen (US$11.75) per kilo more than the price at the end of last year, said the office, adding that the price of Vietnamese prawns imported by Japan also increased by $1.5-2 per kilo.

The rise is attributed to a squeeze on supplies over the world coupled with an increasing demand from Japanese consumers.

The last few years have seen a drop in demand for imported shrimp in Japan, so prices in that market have dropped accordingly.

In recent months, however, the Japanese have been eating out less, prefering  to cook at home instead to save money during the current difficult economic period and imported frozen prawns are often eaten at home.

Lack of raw materials

The demand for shrimp products on the world market has increased, but shrimp processors in Vietnam lacked shrimp supplies for processing.

The scarcity of shrimps due to farmers suffering huge losses after raising shrimps for export last year, said the Ministry of the Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The total shrimp farming area nationwide in the first quarter of this year declined by 8 percent over the same period last year with Ca Mau province seeing a decrease of 264,500ha of shrimp farming area, Bac Lieu province 125,000ha and Kien Giang province 45,000ha.

The lack of raw materials forced 14 out of 26 shrimp processors in Ca Mau province to temporarily halt production.

Tran Thien Hai, director of the Minh Hai Seafood Joint Stock Company said the company was only able to buy 20 tonnes of shrimp to process per day, while normally it would need 50 tonnes.

Some processors have also had to accept a 10-15 percent increase in shrimp prices.

The export value of shrimp in the first quarter of this year fell by 1.7 percent to US$144 million.

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