October 23, 2008
 
Thai Shrimp Weekly: Price hemorrhage worsens (week ended Oct 22, 2008)           
 
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Price summary

 

Shrimp prices continued its downward spiral for the third straight week with all shrimp sizes losing THB6-7/kg from last week's prices in open trading at the wholesale seafood market in Mahachai.

 

The fall in the dictated buying prices for members of the Thai Frozen Foods Association this week, however, was not as heavy, at just THB3-4/per kg. A spokesman for the association, which controls 70 percent of the country's shrimp exports, said members had been trying all they could to keep prices up to help farmers.

 

The association's buying prices are a little higher than those in Mahachai since farmers have to deliver their produce direct to processing plants.

 
 

Market analysis

 

The current price hemorrhage immediately followed after the end of the government's THB300 million mortgage scheme at the end of last month. Under the scheme, designed to stabilise domestic shrimp prices, the government bought shrimp harvests at higher prices and kept them in cold storage for release in the future when prices improved.

 

Industry leaders expect the worsening price slump to cut local production, leading the government to miss its forecast of 6 percent growth. Despite the price depression, fisheries officials have projected production to reach 530,000 tonnes this year, 6 percent more than last year's. Exports have also been expected to reach 350,000 tonnes this year.

 

Thai Frozen Foods Association sources, however, said production growth is unlikely to be achieved this year. Hundreds of farms have shut down, they said, because of sustained losses. Besides, they added, the Federation of Shrimp Farmers Cooperatives of Thailand had announced they would convert 30 percent of their shrimp farms to tilapia aquaculture, which offers better prices.

 

Despite America's financial troubles, however, shrimp imports by the US are slightly up year-to-year for the first time since February 2008, according to statistics released recently by the National Marine Fisheries Service in the US.

 

From January to July, US imports reached 621.5 million pounds, up 0.9 percent from the same period last year. In July 2008, shrimp imports were up 6.3 percent, to 101.1 million pounds, compared to July 2007.

 

Imports from Thailand, which accounts for about 40 percent of US imports, were up 9.2 percent to 32.9 million pounds in July 2008, compared to the same period in 2007.
 

White shrimp prices (in Thai baht) at Thailand's main markets 2008

Unit of Measure: Thai Bhat

Shrimp size

Mahachai seafood market

Thai frozen foods association
benchmark price

Bangkok markets

Oct 15

Oct 22

Oct 15

Oct 22

Oct 15

Oct 22

40 pcs/kg

 -

 -

140.60

138.60

 

 

50 pcs/kg

130.00

123.00

129.40

127.50

170-185

160-175

60 pcs/kg

116.00

110.00

118.30

115.00

160-170

150-160

70 pcs/kg

110.00

105.00

112.00

108.00

140-150

130-140

80 pcs/kg

105.00

98.00

105.80

102.40

130-140

120-130

90 pcs/kg

97.00

90.00

98.30

95.20

120-130

110-120

100 pcs/kg

90

87.00

 -

 -

110-120

100-110

Note: Farm-gate prices are THB10-15 lower than those at Mahachai market.
US$1=THB 33.925 (Sep 25)
 

 
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