January 27, 2009


Bangladesh's shrimp export earnings fall


The Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters' Association reported a drastic drop of its shrimp exports due to world financial meltdown and has urged the government to sustain its support for frozen shrimp exports.


The association has called on the government for establishment of 'emergency fund' for the frozen food exporters to protect them from liquidity crisis which will amount to Taka 500 to 600 crore.


The association's leaders fear another shortfall in shrimp export earnings this fiscal year as frozen shrimp exports fetched around US$ 534.07 million against the US$ 600 million target. Bangladesh' big three markets: European Union, the USA and Japan have dropped significant purchases due to global financial crisis.


The export price of frozen shrimp have also started to fall following the fuel oil price hike in June 2007 and price has taken a nosedive on the onset of the recession due to adverse impact in the international market. The price drop has resulted in huge stockpiles of shrimp at buyers and exporters' levels which led to credit woes for exporters.


The price slide has also affected the shrimp farmers as they reduced the gap between their production cost and sales price.


The association said 40 percent interest-free block account facility for four to five years will help them overcome the crisis  and exporters have also requested the government to provide the 10 percent cash incentive for farmers in removing the price ceiling to help the export sector to survive.