October 28, 2014

    

EMS continues to plague Thailand's shrimp industry

Thailand's shrimp exports are not expected to recover until next year's second quarter, as the country has yet to eliminate early mortality syndrome (EMS) from its shrimp farms, the Bangkok Post reports.

 

The prediction was from Poj Aramwattananont, president of the Thai Frozen Foods Association.

 

"For this year, we expect the country's total production to reach only 200,000 tonnes, with export volume expected to fall by 25% from last year."

 

EMS first hit a shrimp farm in China in 2009, and it then moved through Vietnam before spreading to Thailand in mid-2012.

 

The outbreak has severely damaged the Thai shrimp industry and exports of related products. Before the outbreak, Thailand produced 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes of shrimp annually. But that figure fell by 42% last year to 270,000 tonnes, while shrimp exports fell by 34% to 187,000 tonnes.

 

Poj said shrimp export value this year was expected to fall by 12% from last year.

 

However, there is some hope for the industry. "The Fisheries Department is raising baby shrimp available from imported foreign breeders and has started supplying them to farmers," he said. "If the hatchery succeeds, we expect Thailand's shrimp farming will improve and exports will recover accordingly, possibly in next year's second quarter."

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