Vietnam-U.S. catfish dispute cuts into Vietnam flour sales

by Emily Buckley
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — A dispute between the United States and Vietnam over catfish trade is affecting Vietnam’s millers, who supply high protein flours to the aquaculture feed market.

U.S. Wheat Associates’ vice president, Mark Samson, who was in Vietnam to attend a mill’s distributor conference, said several mills have indicated that the recent U.S. limit on catfish exports from Vietnam had drastically affected the demand for high protein flours used in various aquaculture feeds.

"One trading company indicated that their demand for aquaculture feed had dropped from 1,500 tonnes per month to 300 tonnes per month," Samson said. Prior to the imposition of U.S. limits, more than 40,000 tonnes of high protein (11%) flours were projected to be consumed in the aquaculture feed industry this year, and its flour demand was expected to grow by up to 15% next year.

The catfish dispute centers on a surge of Vietnamese catfish supplies into the United States, which has angered U.S. catfish producers and prompted them to file an anti-dumping suit.