Soft-shell crabs imported from Myanmar sold at half price

By Hong Chau   April 18, 2024 | 07:05 pm PT
Soft-shell crabs imported from Myanmar sold at half price
A frozen soft-shell crab after being thawed. Photo courtesy of a crab seller
Frozen soft-shell crabs imported from Myanmar are sold online for VND200,000 (US$8) a kilogram, half the price of the Vietnamese varieties.

Crabs that have recently molted their old shells and are still soft usually cost twice as much as those with hard shells.

But on online seafood markets and at makeshift markets at apartment blocks, soft-shell crabs are now sold for VND200,000-350,000 per kilogram, the same as normal, hard-shelled crabs.

"VND200,000 for 10 soft-shell crabs weighing a total of one kilogram, the cheapest price ever," Oanh, a seller in Tan Binh District in HCMC, advertised for sale online.

At the super cheap price, she said she has been selling 30-50 of them daily for the past few days.

Thanh Ha, who has sold hundreds of boxes of the crabs imported from Myanmar for VND350,000 per kilogram, said the largest size is eight crabs to a kilogram.

"This soft-shell crab is carefully packaged in a carton, imported from Myanmar, and has an expiry date of 2025.

"The price varies depending on the weight. If you buy smaller sizes, the wholesale price is only around VND250,000."

She believed that the crabs are transported in large quantities by train, and so prices are cheaper than those transported by air.

Besides, this year soft-shell crab exports to the U.S. and EU have faced difficulties and so are flooding the Vietnamese market, causing their prices to plummet.

Frozen crabs are packaged in cartons of 8-10. Photo by VnExpress/Linh Dan

Frozen crabs are packaged in cartons of 8-10. Photo by VnExpress/Linh Dan

Bich Tuyen, the owner of a store selling seafood in HCMC’s Binh Chanh District, said there are two types of soft-shell crabs on the local market: fresh natural Vietnamese and imported frozen ones.

Some dealers receive tons of imported crabs daily at half the price of the fresh Vietnamese ones.

Tuyen said she sells both, the Vietnamese crabs at VND550,000-750,000 per kilogram. They are currently in short supply.

According to crab farmers in the southern province of Ca Mau, soft-shell crabs sold now in the market are mostly frozen because the local harvest season is coming to an end.

Crabs normally molt between the ninth and 11th lunar months. From molting to the hardening of the new shell takes 20-25 days.

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