Feed prices for pangasius, shrimp on the rise in Vietnam

Published on
March 30, 2021

Pangasius and shrimp farmers in Vietnam are facing higher prices for their feed, with suppliers citing higher costs for imported raw material.

Pangasius feed prices in the Mekong Delta are expected to hit their fifth increase in early April, a source from a leading feed producer told SeafoodSource on 24 March. The cumulative effect of the previous four hikes brought the price up between VND 1,050 and VND 1,300 (USD 0.045 and USD 0.056, EUR 0.038 and EUR 0.047) per kilogram, the source said.

Other announcements from various feed producers in March, seen by SeafoodSource, have further revealed the trend of higher prices. For example, Tainan, Taiwan based Uni-President on 15 March announced to its agents an additional VND 500 (USD 0.022, EUR 0.018) price hike per kilogram of pangasius feed, effective 16 March. Another feed producer, Vietnam-based Proconco Can Tho, had tried to keep the prices of its feed products unchanged until the end of March. But an increase of VND 250 (USD 0.01, EUR 0.009) per kilogram will be applied from 1 April. And Ede, The Netherlands-based De Heus has also announced a hike of VND 250 (USD 0.01, EUR 0.009) per kilogram for its pangasius feeds, starting 1 April.

Most of the producers said the increase was unavoidable due to escalating prices of imported material for feed production, claiming supply chains for the material have been disrupted due to augmented control measures imposed to protect against spread of COVID-19.

While the more expensive feed has put pressure on local farmers, they have been able to offset the higher cost of feed with their own price increases. Data from Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) showed that pangasius was sold at between VND 21,000 and VND 21,500 (USD 0.91 to USD 0.93, EUR 0.77 and EUR 0.78) per kilogram for fish between 0.7 kilograms and 0.8 kilograms between 12 and 18 March. That was up from between VND 19,500 and VND 20,000 (USD 0.84 to USD 0.86, EUR 0.71 and EUR 0.73) per kilogram of the same size they received in the first three weeks of February.

“Vinh Hoan just paid VND 21,500 [USD 0.93, EUR 0.78] per kilogram to buy more than 300 metric tons (MT) from farmers we have business with,” the source said on 24 March, adding that the production cost now is in the range of between VND 20,500 and VND 21,500 (USD 0.88 and USD 0.93, EUR 0.75 and EUR 0.78) per kilogram.

According to price updates from local fisheries platform Tep Bac, the average farm-gate price on 25 March rose even higher, to VND 22,000 (USD 0.95, EUR 0.80) per kilogram for an average size of 0.82 kilogram per fish, up from VND 20,000 (USD 0.86, EUR 0.73) two months ago.

Prices are rising as processors are encountering growing global demand for their products.

Pangasius exports to many of Vietnam’s biggest markets, especially China and the United States, surged in the first half of March, data seen by SeafoodSource revealed.

For Vietnam’s shrimp farmers, the situation is very similar. Feed prices for shrimp have gone up by between VND 1,200 and VND 1,900 (USD 0.052 and USD 0.082, EUR 0.044 and EUR 0.069) per kilogram, up by between 1.69 percent and 5.03 percent over last year, the Ca Mau newspaper reported on 23 March. Ca Mau is a major seafood producing province in the Mekong Delta.

At the beginning of February, Tongwei Vietnam increased the prices of its vannamei feed product by VND 1,200 (USD 0.052, EUR 0.044) per kilogram and its black tiger shrimp product by VND 1,400 (USD 0.06, EUR 0.05) per kilogram. And at the start of this month, the cost of C.P. Vietnam’s shrimp feed product was up by VND 1,500 (USD 0.065, EUR 0.055) per kilogram. Beginning 1 April, Grobest Industrial (Vietnam) will follow suit and raise its shrimp feed prices (excluding Gold Shield product) by VND 1,200 (USD 0.052, EUR 0.044) per kilogram.

Similar to Vietnam’s pangasius feed suppliers, Vietnam’s shrimp feed producers have been forced to compensate for the higher costs of imported production materials caused by disrupted global supply chains. Rising shipping rates caused by a worldwide shortage of shipping containers and vessels also worsened the situation, the Ca Mau newspaper reported.

But unlike the pangasius market, shrimp prices were volatile in March, depending on sizes. For example, the average price for black tiger shrimp on 25 March VND 190,000 (USD 8.20, EUR 6.90) per kilogram for 40-count shrimp, down from the VND 200,000 (USD 8.60, EUR 7.30) per kilogram price recorded on 19 March but higher than the VND 170,000 (USD 7.30, EUR 6.20) per kilogram price on 11 March, data from Tep Bac showed.

The average rate for whiteleg shrimp on 25 March fell to VND 134,000 (USD 5.80, EUR 4.90) per kilogram for 50-count shrimp, down from VND 150,000 (USD 6.50, EUR 5.50) per kilogram on 19 March and VND 139,000 (USD 6.0, EUR 5.0) per kilogram on 11 March.

Vietnam saw its pangasius export value grow by 21.7 percent from a year earlier to USD 123.5 million (EUR 104.4 million) in January but drop 17 percent year-on-year to USD 90 million (EUR 76.1 million) in February.

Similarly, its shrimp export value declined 18 percent year-on-year to nearly USD 218.8 million (EUR 184.9 million) in February, following the year-on-year increase of 15.8 percent to USD 128.8 million (EUR 108.9 million) in January.

Photo courtesy of Nguyen Quang Ngoc Tonkin/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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