Covid-19 outbreak has caused a fall in price of various seafood

COVID-19 has caused a bad impact on Vietnamese seafood market. Hardly does the price of white leg shrimp fluctuate while a sharp fall is recorded in multiple seafood. 

White leg shrimp and marine fish stay put

During the first two months of 2020, the price of white leg shrimp in sizes ranged at an amount that brought high benefit to shrimp farmers. White leg shrimp size 100 pcs/kg ranged at 90,000 – 101,000 dong/kg, up 3,000 dong/kg from last year. The big size ones were purchased by agencies and companies at higher price, particularly shrimps size 40 pcs/kg were sold at 137,000 – 149,000 dong/kg, size 30 pcs/kg was at 155,000 – 165,000 dong/kg and size 20 pcs/kg was at 233,000 – 243,000 dong/kg.

According to companies in Sóc Trăng, the price of white leg shrimp has stayed high because contracts for the first few months of 2020 were signed late 2019. New contracts are usually started in April for negotiation and official signature. Companies, thus, refuse to give their opinions of the shrimp market in 2020 since it very much depends on consumption, importers’ inventory, and 2020 crop. Companies say that white leg shrimp has not been seriously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic but its price starts decrease due to the dull biggest destination China..

The price of most wild caught species was seemingly good in the first two months. Nguyễn Thanh Liêm, an owner of 3 offshore fishing boats, said “As usual, consumers start to buy seafood products after Tet. Due to the high price of pork and the flu outbreak in poultry in the North, the price of most seafood increased by 10-20% compared to the same period last year”.

Key products devaluate

The covid-19 pandemic has postponed the exports of pangasius to the core market China, resulting in the reduction in price of whole fish to 20,000 dong/kg in the Mekong Delta, down by 43% from last year. In companies’ opinion, the pangasius price will find it difficult to recover from now till the end of quarter II this year.

The price of marine crab in Cà Mau, Kiên Giang and Bạc Liêu was reported sharply drop after Tet Holiday. However, the sign of recovery has been seen since mid-February. The price of marble goby started to fall, leaving concerns among the Cà Mau farmers. Once 500,000 dong/kg at the same period last year, the price is ranging at 250,000-270,000 dong/kg with very few traders coming to buy. Local farmers are suffering from a loss at 30,000-50,000 dong/kg.

A drop in sales of marble goby has been recorded at the beginning of the harvest, around November 2019. Since the covid-19 outbreak widely spread in China in January 2020, the price of marble goby has sharply fallen due to decrease in imports from the core markets China, Taiwan and Hongkong.

The price of some other species like barramundi and snakehead fish is staying low, particularly barramundi type I is at 26,000-27,000 dong/kg (down 5,000-6,000 dong/kg from Tet run-up) and snakehead fish is at 47,000 dong/kg.

VFM

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