November 6, 2008
 
Thai Shrimp Weekly: Price freefall enters fifth week (week ended Nov 5, 2008)    

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Price summary
 
The price of Thai shrimp has entered its fifth week of consistent slide with all sizes shedding off between THB3-7/kg from last week's trading in the open market of Mahachai, the country's wholesale seafood centre.
 
Traders blamed continued anemic demand, locally and abroad, for the festering price depression. Overseas orders have dipped following the global credit crunch. At home, consumption has declined due to local economic slowdown and continued political turmoil.  
 
The hemorrhage was not as bad, however, as far as the dictated prices of the Thai Frozen Foods Association were concerned, with each shrimp size falling by only THB2-5/kg this week.
 
Prices of shrimp feed (60% protein, class 3) followed the trend, falling to THB24.7/kg mid this week from THB25.70 early in the week – and from last month's high of THB32.84/kg.
 
At public markets, this week's price fall was between THB5-10/kg.
 
 
Market analysis
 
Local shrimp prices have been in a slump for most part of the year despite the THB300-million subsidy scheme from the government. In a bid to save the industry, the government recently met with industry leaders to map out new strategies.
 
One such move is to shift to higher quality shrimp and to encourage export of fresh, chilled shrimp than frozen shrimp. Niwat Suteemechaikul, director-general of the Fisheries Department, said the government would encourage farmers to export directly to restaurants and hotels in Asia, many of them just a two or three-hour flight away. 
 
"Under this strategy, customers will receive fresh products while farmers bypass middlemen and gain greater income," said Niwat, adding that fresh deliveries could reach 30,000 tonnes a year.
 
The plan for the next three years also calls on farmers to shift to a more environmentally friendly way of producing shrimp. Thanwa Jitsanguan, vice president for special projects at Kasetsart University, said this could be done by encouraging farmers to plant mangroves and use seaweed in shrimp ponds to absorb wastes.
 
The goal, he said, is to combine sustainable industrial development with environmental protection to make the industry more viable in the long run.
 

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

 

Oct 29

Nov 5

Oct 29

Nov 5

Oct 29

Nov 5

40 pcs/kg

 

 

132.20

129.00

 

 

50 pcs/kg

115

112

120.00

114.90

160-175

150-165

60 pcs/kg

105

100

107.60

105.10

150-160

140-150

70 pcs/kg

100

93

101.40

99.50

130-140

120-130

80 pcs/kg

97

90

95.50

94.10

120-130

110-120

90 pcs/kg

93

87

89.60

88.90

110-120

100-110

100 pcs/kg

88

82

 

 

100-110

90-100

Note: Farm-gate prices are THB10-15 lower than those at Mahachai market.
US$1=THB 34.980 (Nov 6)


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