November 11, 2004



Thailand's Shrimp Exports Projected to Rise 20%

Thailand's shrimp exports are forecast to increase by 20% next year. More shrimp should be headed for United States, where the government will impose a lower anti-dumping duty rate on Thai imports compared with other countries.


According to Somsak Paneetatyasai, president of the Thai Shrimp Association, shrimp exporters can expect duties of 6.4%, based on preliminary anti-dumping duties set in July by the US Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department will make its final decision on December 17.


Somsak expects a final duty ranging between 3 and 4%


"We expect exports for next year to grow from 230,000 tons to 260,000 tons, with a market share of around 26% in the United States due to good prospects for the duty," he said.


The Department of Foreign Trade has convinced the US Department of Commerce to calculate anti-dumping duties on Thai shrimp using an averaging method. That means using an average of the highest and lowest prices of shrimp sold in the market. US authorities had considered using the 'ceiling' method, which uses the lowest price in the calculation.


"There are many countries that do not agree on using the ceiling method in the calculation. We expect that the final determination on anti-dumping duties should not be more than 3 to 4% for Thai shrimp exports to the US market," Somsak said.


325,000 tons of shrimp have been produced in Thailand this year, and production is projected to grow to 400,000 tons next year. The US is the largest export market for Thai shrimp, receiving 26% of the production. The European Union buys only 0.7% while Japan accounts for 14%.


If the final rate is much higher than 3 or 4%, the association, together with nine trade groups whose members use soybeans in their production and animal husbandry operations, is prepared to propose a retaliatory ban on US soybean imports.


Around 1 million tons of US soybeans are shipped to Thailand every year for use as animal feed.

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