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Tra exporters agree to floor price   2012-07-23 - VNS

Workers of East Sea Seafood Co in the southern province of Can Tho transport tra fish for processing. Leading tra exporters agreed to a floor price on shipments to the US to ensure a fair competition for Vietnamese tra fish. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
  Leading tra fish exporters agreed to levy a minimum price of US$2-2.2 per pound on shipments to the US for the remaining months of the year in a move to ensure fair competition and regain value for Vietnamese tra fish, according to the Vietnamese Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP).

Tra fish export prices to the US have decreased during the past several months as more domestic tra fish exporters have focused on the US market, which is seen as more lucrative than other markets. According to the US Customs, frozen Vietnamese tra fillets were priced at $3,480 per tonne last month, down 4 per cent over the previous month.

With some catfish exporters offering to sell products at unusual cheap prices, other Vietnamese catfish processors and exporters expected that the floor price regulation would ensure that only capable and honest businesses could join the US market and help reverse slumping prices.

VASEP said that many catfish exporters had been forced to sell at lower prices as they were under pressure to pay back bank loans. Some exporters offered to sell at only $2.2 a kg, a rate other firms said was incredibly low, as exporters could only make a profit from $2.7 a kg.

To apply a floor price, Truong Dinh Hoe, VASEP general secretary, said the association had asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to require tra fish exporters to register export contracts with VASEP before making shipments. This regulation is to apply from August 1. Tra fish export contracts to the US, therefore, would need to be approved by VASEP for supervision on prices and quality, Hoe said, adding that exporters, whose export prices are lower than the floor prices would be fined.

The floor price regulations would be also applied for other markets, said Hoe.

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