More than 30% of catfish breeders in the Mekong Delta have stopped their business because of losses caused by high fish-feed prices, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP).
The rise in fish-feed prices was mainly responsible for a loss of VND1,000 (US$0.06) on every kilogramme of catfish, catfish breeders say.
Many shrimp ponds in the region were also idle for the same reason. The shrimp breeding area in Bac Lieu Province had fallen from 10,000 ha last year to 2,000 ha this year.
Pigs and poultry also affected
Farmers who raise pigs and chickens were also suffering losses because of the rise in animal feed prices that changed five times last month.
Production costs exceed kg prices of saleable chicken. Many chicken breeders would stop their business if this trend of rising feed prices and falling chicken prices in the market continued.
Pig farmers face the same situation of rising production costs and falling prices for pork.
Livestock farmers said 100kg of pig fetched VND4.2 million ($23.6) in April, but since early May, the price had fallen to VND3.7 million ($20.80).
Experts noted that while livestock breeders had expanded production over last year by 15 – 20%, the area for catfish and shrimp breeding in the Mekong delta had reduced sharply by half.