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December 30, 2011

Thai Shrimp Weekly: Shrimp exporters less optimistic about 2012 (week ended Dec 29, 2011)
 
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Price summary
 
Local shrimp prices remain unchanged after last week's marginal slide, an indication that Thailand's recent severe flooding continues to weigh on consumer spending.
 
Traditionally, meat and shrimp prices would spike on the eve of the year-end holidays on strong demand as Thais welcome the New Year with feasts and parties. However, with most consumers still recovering from the devastation of Thailand's worst flooding in decades, holiday spending has been a little restrained this time around.
 
 
Market analysis                                   
 
A slump in local demand is just one of a number of challenges facing Thailand's shrimp industry, which now expects flat growth in output for 2012.
 
At the start of 2011, the Thai Frozen Foods Association projected this year's shrimp production to expand to 600,000 tonnes from 560,000 tonnes in 2010. Anticipating continued high demand from the United States and Europe, it had projected exports to grow by 8-9% this year.
 
These projections, however, proved to be disappointingly off-tangent. Through the first nine months of 2011, Thailand's shrimp exports to the United States, its main market, dropped by 4.64% to 126,751.17 tonnes, from 132,923.82 tonnes during the same period last year, association statistics showed.
 
Shipments to Europe also fell 8.56% during the same period to 43,193.25 tonnes, from 47,236.18 tonnes in 2010.
 
The only bit of good news came from Japan, Thailand's second biggest market, where Thai shrimp export posted a 4.52% increase in the January-September 2011 period to 53,524.40 tonnes, from 55,941.53 tonnes for the same period last year.
 
While shipments from Thailand have been on the decline, US shrimp imports have actually been expanding. Through the first eight months of 2011, US shrimp imports went up 3.5%, with India, China, Indonesia, Ecuador and Mexico benefiting most from such increase.
 
In August, US shrimp imports from Mexico were up about 38 fold. India's shrimp exports to US, on the other hand, jumped 68.2%, to 15.5 million pounds during the first eight months of this year. And the second biggest export jump was that of Ecuador, which posted 52.5% for the same eight-month period.
 
To compensate for its loosening grip of the US market, Thailand hopes to expand exports to some of its newer markets, such as South Korea and the Asean.
 
But unlike the previous years, Thai Frozen Foods Association is now less optimistic about the global market. Compared to its export projections of 8-9% for 2011, the association expects export expansion for 2012 to be a timid 2.2%.
 

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 22

Dec 29

Dec 22

Dec 29

Dec 22

Dec 29

40 pcs/kg

--

--

183.30

183.30

220-230

220-230

50 pcs/kg

162

162

162.80

162.80

190-200

190-200

60 pcs/kg

147

147

147.00

147.00

180-190

180-190

70 pcs/kg

135

135

136.40

136.40

170-180

170-180

80 pcs/kg

120

120

126.20

126.20

160-170

160-170

90 pcs/kg

114

114

117.60

117.60

150-160

150-160

100 pcs/kg

110

110

--

--

140-150

140-150

Note: Farm-gate prices are THB10-15 lower than those at Mahachai market.
US$1=THB 31.56 (Dec 30, 2011)

 

 
 
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