March 4, 2005


Prices of shrimp expected to increase in Thailand



As a result of the devastation of coastal areas by the tsunami on December 26, international shrimp prices are expected to jump 20 per cent this year due to supply shortages.


Somsak Paneetatyasai, President of Thai Shrimp Association said, "I think the international price has gone up 10 per cent to 20 per cent already in the first quarter of this year."


Somsak, just back from a visit to the six Thai provinces on the Andaman coastline that were hardest hit by the tsunamis, said the disaster caused an estimated 2 billion baht in damages to shrimp hatcheries and infrastructure and was expected to reduce shrimp production in the first half of 2005 by 20 to 30 per cent.


He predicted that shrimp prices in Thailand would increase by more than 20 per cent and at a similar rate on the international market.


"Many other shrimp producing countries were also affected by the tsunamis, like India and Indonesia," noted Somsak.


Thailand is one of the world's leading exporters of frozen shrimp. In 2004 it exported 240 000 tonnes of shrimp, of which 55 per cent went to the US market.


The country last year only exported 5,000 tons of shrimp to the European Union, which graduated Thailand out of its General System of Preferences (GSP) five years ago, subjecting Thai shrimp to higher import tariffs.

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