April 15, 2015
Thai shrimp prices plunge to below production cost on sluggish exports (week ended Apr 15, 2015)
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Price summary
Thai shrimp prices have fallen below production cost with 50-count shrimp now languishing at THB180 a kilogramme, THB90-95 lower than they were a year ago.
Industry insiders blame the dramatic price decline to sluggish overseas demand. "We haven't seen prices this low since before EMS [early mortality syndrome]," which has hit the country's shrimp farms since 2012, says Daniel Gruenberg, founder of the shrimp company Acquestra.
Market analysis
Thailand's exports, including shrimp and seafood, have slumped, especially during the last few months. Its military government, which critics blame for the country's current economic mess, has pointed to lower global oil and crop prices for its poor export performance.
In March, the Commerce Ministry reported that Thai exports fell for a second consecutive month in February, down by 6.14% year-on-year to US$17.2 billion after January's figures fell by 3.46% to US$17.2 billion.
Shipments of farm products, the ministry said, fell by 12.5% in February to US$2.49 billion. Processed seafood, it added, was among those that saw big export declines during that month. 
Statistics from the Thai Frozen Foods Association showed substantial drops in shrimp exports to major destinations like Japan and the US last January.
January shipments to Japan, which accounts for about 20% of Thailand's total shrimp exports, slid by a little over 20% to 861.75 tonnes compared to 1,080.26 tonnes during the same period last year.
Deliveries to the US, which accounts for more than 42% of its shrimp exports, fell by more than 4% to 1,822.31 tonnes that month, from 1,901.73 tonnes a year earlier.

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