Chinese market favours Vietnamese lobster but prices are rocky

Since China’s reopening on January 8, the export of Vietnamese lobster to this market has increased, but the purchase price of the seafood delicacy has been variable at best, putting farmers at risk of loosing money.

Cam Binh commune in Cam Ranh city is one of the main lobster farming areas in the central province of Khanh Hoa. Currently, it has more than 400 farms with about 15,000 cages which produce a combined output of about 300 tonnes a year, mainly green lobster.

Nguyen An, Chairman of the commune People’s Committee, said that the price of green lobster was extremely rocky, sometimes dropping to 640,000-670,000 VND (26.98-28.24 USD) per kg. However, the normal price ranges from 730,000-750,000 VND per kg.

On March 6, Nguyen Van Hau, a green lobster farmer in the commune’s Binh Ba Dong village, said that the current price has dropped to 720,000 VND per kg. With this price, farmers cannot gain any profit, because the startup and running costs of breed, feed, and labour are all high.

Nguyen Trong Binh, Director of Binh Thom Seafood Co., Ltd., specialising in purchasing lobsters for export to the Chinese market, said that since China’s reopening, Vietnamese lobster exports no longer face any problems with paperwork, as the country has gradually loosened restrictions related to aquatic exports.

However, the purchasing power of this market has yet to return to normal as the country has just opened up after the lingering pandemic.

He expressed his hope for a brighter outlook this summer, when tourism activities recover well, resulting in an increase in the consumption of lobster.

To make lobster farming more sustainable, Nguyen Trong Chanh, director of the provincial Fisheries Sub-Department, said that the sub-department will provide guidance for local farmers in applying biosecurity farming processes, and ensuring traceability./.