After the US Department of Commerce (DOC) imposed the highest ever anti-dumping duties on warm-water shrimp exports from Vietnam, prices for black-tiger and white-legged shrimp in the Mekong Delta have plunged dramatically.
Vietnamese farmers have once again become the victims of trade disputes.
The white-legged shrimp price in Tra Vinh province dropped by VND20,000 per kilo within one week.
Nguyen Van Mai, a farmer in Cau Ngang District, who farms shrimp on two hectares of water surface, said the shrimp price unexpectedly increased slightly by VND2,000 per kilo (60 shrimp per kilo) to VND140,000 per kilo in mid-September, but later dropped dramatically by VND20,000 per kilo to VND120,000 per kilo.
The price of smaller shrimp (100 shrimp per kilo) also fell from VND120,000 to VND100,000 per kilo.
Mai said with the current prices, he still can make a modest profit which is enough for investment in his next crop.
However, he said prices could drop further if export companies stop exporting shrimp to the US.
The high anti-dumping duties on shrimp imports from Vietnam set by the DOC after the eighth period of review (POR 8) could close the doors to the US market.
The Minh Phu Seafood Group in Ca Mau province, for example, bears a tax rate of 4.98 percent, Stapimex 9.75 percent and the other 30 defendants 6.37 percent.
According to the Tra Vinh provinces' Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, local farmers have harvested 11,000 tons of black-tiger and 23,000 tons of white-legged shrimp.
With the mid-September price, farmers could make high profits. However, as the price has been falling, they are reluctant to continue to breed shrimp.
Le Van Sang, a farmer in Cau Ngang District, complained that he lost VND20 million in profit for one ton of shrimp because of unexpected price decreases.
“It was VND250,000 per kilo of big-size shrimp (20 shrimp per kilo) in mid-September, but then it dropped to VND220,000,” he said.
Tran Van Ut in Vinh Loc Commune of Hong Dan District in Bac Lieu province said he had lost VND5 million in the last 10 days because of the shrimp price cuts.
“I have been warned by merchants that shrimp prices would decrease further because seafood export companies will force the shrimp raw material prices down once they have to bear higher taxes,” he said.
Tran Van Pham, general director of Stapimex, said his enterprise had the highest anti-dumping tax rate of 9.75 percent. He called the taxation unfair and unreasonable.
“The US DOC referred to figures about the shrimp hatchery cost in Bangladesh while considering the case of Vietnam. It was an unreasonable decision,” Pham said.
“Vietnamese farmers have better farming techniques and can control epidemics. Therefore, it is understandable that farming costs are lower than in Bangladesh,” he added.
The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has filed an appeal to ITC (the US International Trade Commission) about the DOC's decision.Kim Chi
us department of commerce, agriculture and rural development, department of commerce, the us market, minh phu seafood, ca mau province, international trade commission, anti dumping, the us, shrimp exports, mekong delta, vietnamese farmers, once again, tra vinh, shrimp imports
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