BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): The Department of Fisheries is discussing with foreign partners possibilities for export of Thai bass, a type of fish found in rivers and seas, to Chinese markets that still have high demand to alleviate the oversupply problem in Thailand.
Wicharn Ingsrisawang, the department deputy director-general, said: “China has promised to send its officials to inspect the production process of Thai bass to ensure quality and safety, ” he said.
“Meanwhile, they would also conduct surveys in their markets to make sure that Thai bass does not compete with existing local products.”
“Thai bass will be exported in the form of frozen cut meat, therefore it should not directly compete with Chinese bass, which is mostly sold as whole fish, ” he added.
“However, due to the outbreak situation we may not be able to welcome Chinese authorities for physical inspection of fish farms and processing factories. The department is looking into the video conferencing alternative.”
Due to oversupply in the domestic market, Thai bass is now sold at Bt60 (US$2) per kilogram compared with Bt120-Bt170 per kg when the market was not yet saturated. The department estimates that if it successfully penetrates the Chinese market, the domestic price can rise up to at least Bt80 per kg.
The annual output of Thai bass is around 20,000 tonnes with estimated value of Bt2.6 billion from over 7,500 farms that use over 12,000 rai of farming areas.
The current major export markets are Myanmar, United States, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Cambodia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. - The Nation/Asia News Network
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