September 29, 2011

Thai Feed Weekly: Fishmeal prices slide as shrimp farm damage mounts (week ended Sep 26)
An eFeedLink Exclusive

Price Summary
The price of shrimp-grade fishmeal has shrunk by THB3 (a little over US$1) a kilogramme on poor demand after weeks of heavy rain damaged fish and shrimp farms in the provinces.
Due to an expected shortage, after tracts of croplands planted to corn were also damaged by the recent flooding, corn prices have increased by a hefty THB20.34/kg.
However, cassava prices continue to tank, falling by another THB0.05/kg this week, prompting farmers to demand government subsidy.
The price of broken rice has gone up by THB8/tonne to a record-breaking THB502/tonne just a few days before the October 7 implementation of the new rice pledging scheme that is expected to raise local rice prices by up to 30-40%. On the other hand, retail prices of other rice products such as white rice bran and rice bran residues have started to stabilise after weeks of escalation amid widespread hoarding and speculative buying.
Market analysis
Thailand's Agricultural Economics Office reports that more than 3,000 hectares of fish and shrimp farms in the provinces have overflowed from weeks of heavy downpour, resulting in heavy losses to farmers.
Due to continued rains, hundreds of aquaculture farms have cut down operations to minimize losses, causing a big drop in fishmeal demand.
The country had anticipated a 10% growth in fishmeal production to 550,000 tonnes this year on expected robust expansions in the livestock and shrimp sectors.
In the wake of this year's flooding, which local think tank Kasikorn Research Centre has described as worse than last year's, Thai fishmeal producers may have to revise their projections.
Kasikorn has estimated this year's damage to crops and farms to have reached THB20 billion as of this week compared to only THB16 billion last year. It said this year's flooding was more severe and more widespread than that of 2010. It added that this year's rainy season started in August, a month earlier than the previous year's.
In just over a month, the price of superior-grade broken rice, a popular feed ingredient in rice-growing countries like Thailand, rose from THB470 to THB502/tonne. From October 7, as part of the government's new rice subsidy programme, the government will start buying paddy at over 40% above market price.
This is expected to also push prices of rice byproducts up, such as those of broken rice and rice bran. Thailand's feed industry uses up one million tonnes of broken rice a year.
Meanwhile, cassava prices continue to decline on reduced use for ethanol following the government's recent decision to downgrade the country's ethanol production.


PRICE as of  September 19
(in Thai baht/kg)

PRICE as of  September 26
(in Thai baht/kg)

(in Thai baht/kg)

Corn (Delivered to feed factory)





2.20 - 2.30

2.15 - 2.25


White Broken Rice A.1 Super (US$/tonne)




White rice bran




Rice bran residue 








Soymeal (imported)




Soymeal (local)




Fishmeal (shrimp grade)




US$1=THB 31.22 (September 29, 2011)



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