Catfish farming and harvesting. (Photo: Seafood from Vietnam)
Pangasius industry still waiting for promised bailout
Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 03:10 (GMT + 9)
The government’s much-discussed bailout still has not reached out to pangasius businesses and these are now wondering whether the assistance will come at all. The USD 440 million-bailout to help rescue the fisheries industry was first approved two months ago.
According to Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary general of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), none of the package has been disbursed so far.
Meanwhile, tra enterprises and farmers are still dealing with increasing feed prices, VietNamNet Bridge reports.
All Vietnamese catfish export markets, including Europe, have been unstable and led to a dive in both exports and profits. While Vietnamese businesses hope to see exports rise toward the end of 2012, the serious capital shortage remains in their way, and with no financial assistance, the sector cannot afford to push its output beyond moderate levels.
Mai Dang Hoa, general director of the Saigon-Mekong Seafood Company, also said most enterprises need capital. They cannot borrow money from banks and therefore cannot collect materials for processing either.
“We are looking forward to the bailout promised by the government, but we are running out of patience,” he said.
Given the current prices of VND 22,000 (USD 1.05) - VND 22,500 (USD 1.07) per kg, farmers in the Mekong Delta are incurring losses of VND 2,000 (USD 0.09) - VND 4,000 (USD 0.19), which has led many of them use only a portion of their farms. According to the Dong Thap Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, more than 80ha worth of farms there remain unused, VNS reports.
VASEP informed that borrowers will have to undergo "strict" approval procedures to obtain loans from the financial package.
Duong Ngoc Minh, deputy chairperson of VASEP, said four-month loans would be available from banks to farmers and processors at 11.4 per cent interest.
Duong Anh Tuan, director of the Binh Minh Husbandry Company, said his sources said that by October, the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Vietnam would complete the compilation of the documents outlining the procedures for the disbursement of the VND 3 trillion (USD 142.8 million) bailout for husbandry and fisheries.
At the same time, Tuan said, it always takes a long time for a legal document to be implemented, so he has advised businesses to “rescue themselves, rather than keep waiting for the bailout.”
- Pangasius sales to EU fall
By Natalia Real