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December 1, 2008
 
Thai Shrimp Weekly: Airport siege paralyzes fresh shrimp export (week ended Nov 26, 2008)           
 
An eFeedLink Exclusive       
 
 
Price summary
 
Shrimp prices plummeted again this week, after last week's slight recovery, as uncertainty gripped the country following a siege of Bangkok's airports by antigovernment protesters.
 
The siege, which has stopped all incoming and outgoing flights for days now, has partly derailed export of fresh and frozen shrimp. Thai shrimp are exported by air and sea.
 
In open trading at Mahachai, Thailand's main shrimp market, prices fell by as much as THB5/kg for each shrimp size. However, buying prices from the Thai Frozen Foods Association, whose members control 70 percent of the country's shrimp exports, went down by just THB1/kg for each shrimp size. These prices, however, were issued by the association a few days before the airports' closure.
 
 
Market analysis
 
Poj Aramwattananont, president of the Thai Frozen Foods Association, said the airport siege could not have come at a worst time for the shrimp industry, now reeling under severe slump in overseas demand. He said it was, however, too early to assess the damage of the airport siege to Thai fresh shrimp exporters.
 
After many weeks of downhill slide, local shrimp prices picked up slightly last week as supply to Bangkok was hampered by heavy rains in Southern Thailand, particularly in Chumpon, Krabi and Suratthani where thousands of shrimp farms are located.
 
Internationally, Poj said, the demand situation looked grim in the light of the global economic crisis. Orders from major markets such as the United States, Europe and Japan, he said, were shrinking.
 
The value of Thailand's shrimp exports from January to August 2008 grew by only 3.11 percent from the same period in 2007, to $1.4 billion. In 2007, the USA, Japan and Europe respectively represented 52 percent, 18 percent and 9.5 percent of Thailand's total shrimp exports of 349,4000 tonnes.
 
At a recent meeting, Poj and members of the Thai Shrimp Association led by Somsak Paneetatyasai agreed on more production cutbacks to shore up prices. Both sides are looking at a 10-20 percent cut in output.
 
Early this year, leaders of several shrimp farming associations announced production cuts to stabilize shrimp prices. The problem was thousands of independent farmers did not heed the cutback initiative.
 
Poj has again called on exporters and farmers "to cooperate in the management of the shrimp supply during these times of economic stress."
 

White shrimp prices (in Thai baht) at Thailand's main markets

Unit of Measure: Thai Bhat

Shrimp size

Mahachai seafood market

Thai frozen foods association
benchmark price

Bangkok markets

 

Nov 19

Nov 26

Nov 19

Nov 26

Nov 19

Nov 26

40 pcs/kg

 -

 -

127.00

125.60

- 

- 

50 pcs/kg

112

108

109.50

108.80

150-165

150-165

60 pcs/kg

100

97

99.80

99.50

140-150

140-150

70 pcs/kg

3

90

93.30

92.00

120-130

120-130

80 pcs/kg

90

85

88.80

88.40

110-120

110-120

90 pcs/kg

85

80

84.50

84.90

100-110

100-110

100 pcs/kg

82

78

- 

- 

90-100

90-100

Note: Farm-gate prices are THB10-15 lower than those at Mahachai market.
US$1=THB 35.645 (Dec 1)


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