August 25, 2014

Thailand shrimp prices down as US export orders shift to India (week ended Aug 21, 2014)
 
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Price summary
 
Diminishing demand from the United States has sent prices of Thai shrimp crushing down with a kilogramme of 60 pieces now being traded at only THB200/kg in Mahachai, the country's main seafood market, from THB220/kg last week.
 
A kilogramme of 50 pieces now sells for only THB210/kg, from THB225/kg previously, while a kilogramme of 70 pieces is being quoted at THB193/kg, down from THB215/kg a week ago. 
 
Thai Frozen Foods Association (TFFA) sources said local shrimp prices have softened as demand from American importers continue to falter. The association, largely composed of shrimp exporters, said more and more United States shrimp traders had been sourcing their supply from India instead of Thailand.
 
 
Market analysis
 
Until 2012, Thailand dominated the American market for imported crustacean for years. In 2012 alone, US imports of Thai shrimp totaled a little over 136,000, with Ecuador coming in second at 81,500 tonnes, followed by Indonesia at 74,100 tonnes and India at 66,000 tonnes.
 
But due to the uncontrolled spread of the EMS (early mortality syndrome) during the last three years, which ultimately slashed Thai shrimp production by half, Thailand fell from being number one to number five US shrimp supplier, with only about 15% market share, according to the TFFA.
 
This year, India has overtaken Thailand as the number one shrimp supplier to the United States.
 
TFFA adds that Thailand's share in the European Union market, which used to be substantial in previous years, has also fallen to less than 10%.
 
Recent allegations by the media in the United Kingdom that Thai shrimp producers have been feeding their shrimp with cheap fishmeal sourced from boats using foreign slave labour have compounded Thailand's woes. A number of supermarket chains in Europe have since stopped buying shrimp from Thailand.
 
The series of newspaper exposes alleging "systemic use of modern-day slavery in Thailand's seafood industry, including child and forced labour, forced detention, extreme violence and murder also prompted the United States government to downgrade Thailand to Tier 3, from Tier 2, in the US Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report.
 
Thailand faces possible United States sanctions following the downgrade, a prospect that raises serious concerns among Thai seafood exporters.
 

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

Aug 14

Aug 21

Aug 14

Aug 21

Aug 14

Aug 21

40 pcs/kg

230

230

230

230

290-300

290-300

50 pcs/kg

225

210

225

225

280-290

280-290

60 pcs/kg

220

200

220

220

270-280

270-280

70 pcs/kg

215

193

215

215

260-270

260-270

80 pcs/kg

200

190

200

200

250-260

250-260

90 pcs/kg

190

190

190

190

240-250

240-250

100 pcs/kg

185

170

180

-

230-240

230-240

Note: Farm-gate prices are THB10-15 lower than those at Mahachai market.
US$1=THB 31.95 (Aug 25, 2014)

 

 


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