New tra association created to support industry
This weekend saw the creation of the Vietnam Tra Fish Association (VTFA) at a congress held in the province of An Giang in the Mekong Delta. The association was established as part of an effort to strengthen the tra sector’s development and growth.
Among the 47 members elected, Nguyen Viet Thang, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, was elected to be the association’s chairman for the 2013-15 term. VTFA currently consists of 143 members from provinces and cities across Vietnam.
Reports released at last weekend’s congress reveal that areas used for growing pangasius in the Mekong Delta have declined by 1.03 percent annually between 2008 and 2012. These tra farming areas now stand at about 6,000 ha, mainly stretched along Tien (Anterior Mekong) and Hau (Posterior Mekong) rivers.
VTFA is working to achieve a tra output of 1.2 to 1.5 million tons by 2015, including 800,000 tons of Vietnamese catfish products destined for export and 150,000 tons for domestic consumption. These figures would bring in an export turnover of US$1.8 (€1.377) billion to US$2.25 (€1.721) billion and create 23,000 jobs, VNS reports.
Nguyen Huu Khanh, former Secretary of An Giang Party Committee and ex-chairman of Vietnam Fishery Association, said the association, which was founded after 10 years of struggle for the industry, would help defend farmers’ legitimate rights and encourage healthy and fair competition among them, VOV reports.
In 2012, Vietnam made US$6.15 (€4.705) billion from seafood exports, of which more than US$1.74 (€1.331) billion originated from tra fish exports, according to data from the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Xinhua reports.
In January 2013, Vietnam made over US$163.2 (€124.853)million from pangasius exports, up 40.7 percent from January 2012.
The European Union (EU) was the leading importer with US$37.2 (€28.459) million in sales, up 17.4 percent and accounting for 22.8 percent of the market. Next came the US at US$26.7 (€20.426) million in sales, up 31.3 percent year-on-year and making up 16.3 percent of sales.
In third place came Brazil with US$13.3 (€10.175) million in imports, up 86.7 percent from January 2012 and representing 8.1 percent of the market. Mexico followed with US$13 (€9.945) million, up 2 percent and representing 8 percent of sales.
Ranking fifth were Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries with US$11.3 (€8.645) million in tra sales, up 82.2 percent year-on-year and taking up 6.9 percent of the market. Next came China and Hong Kong at US$7.4 (€5.661) million, up 108.2 percent and hogging 4.5 percent of sales, followed by Colombia with US$6.4 (€4.896) million, down 0.8 percent and taking up 3.9 percent of the market.
In eighth place was Saudi Arabia with US$4.6 (€3.519) million, up 119 percent and taking up 2.8 percent of sales.