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December 12, 2008
 
Thai Shrimp Weekly: Prices escalate amid declining orders (week ended Dec 10, 2008)           
 
An eFeedLink Exclusive       
 
 
Price summary
 
For the second week now, Thai shrimp prices have been escalating by up to THB7 a kilogramme this week in the wholesale market of Mahachai although the country's seafood export as a whole is beset by declining orders in the wake of a global economic slowdown.
 
Members of the Thai Frozen Foods Association have also increased their buying rates, although by just a fraction of the amount of increase seen in Mahachai.
 
 
Market analysis
 
According to Mana Sripitak, president of the National Fisheries Association, there has been a big drop in export orders for processed seafood. As a result, he said, prices of some seafood items, particularly grounded and frozen minced fish, are down.
 
While there has not been any retrenchments so far, over 100,000 workers in the fishery and seafood processing industry fear mass layoffs would be inevitable if the situation turns from bad to worse in the next few months.
 
Despite its current financial troubles, the United States' shrimp imports in the first half of 2008 totalled 236,000 tonnes remaining almost unchanged in terms of volume compared to the same period in 2007, while import value grew 2.4 percent.
 
Thailand maintained its leading position in the US shrimp market with 188,300 tonnes equivalent to US$1.2 billion but saw its exports to this country decrease by 3 percent both in volume and value. Nevertheless, its market share continued to grow slightly in the US market.
 
The year 2007 was a difficult year for Thailand due to falling prices and unfavourable anti-dumping duties compared to its rivals. The recent World Trade Organization decision in favour of Thailand will allow products from this country to enter the US market with low import duties in 2009.
 
In Europe, Thailand's third biggest shrimp market after the US and Japan, the situation looks bleak with regard to shrimp demand, according to a November report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
 
Prices of shrimp in the EU, the report said, continue to be low, and are expected to stay that way, given the weak demand in all main markets.
 

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

 

Dec 3

Dec 10

Dec 3

Dec 10

Dec 3

Dec 10

40 pcs/kg

- 

- 

126.60

127.40

- 

- 

50 pcs/kg

111

113

107.60

108.80

150-165

150-165

60 pcs/kg

100

107

97.80

99.10

140-150

140-150

70 pcs/kg

95

100

90.50

91.20

120-130

120-130

80 pcs/kg

88

94

84.70

85.40

110-120

110-120

90 pcs/kg

83

90

81.50

82.00

100-110

100-110

100 pcs/kg

75

81

- 

- 

90-100

90-100

Note: Farm-gate prices are THB10-15 lower than those at Mahachai market.
US$1=THB 29.75 (Dec 12)

 


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