December 24, 2004


Thailand's Shrimp Exporters May Face Years of Uncertainty


Thailand's shrimp exporters could face five years of uncertainty due to the United States' anti-dumping policies.


According to the Kasikorn Research Centre, Thai shrimp exporters have to brace for possible changes in anti-dumping tariffs, because rates announced by the US Commerce Department remain subject to a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.


The US Commerce Department announced anti-dumping duty rates to be imposed on shrimp exports from Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador and India on 20 December.


Thailand is among the top exporters of shrimp to the US.  But the research centre says the duties imposed on Thailand, between 5.8 - 6.8 per cent, are relatively low compared with those faced by other exporters, such as Brazil, China and Vietnam.


Thailand has taken its shrimp tariff dispute with the United States to the WTO.  A verdict is expected by late January 2005.  The Kasikorn Research Centre says that ruling may result in yet more rate changes, creating the potential for another five years of uncertainty for exporters.


Thailand's shrimp exports are expected to reach 240,000 tons this year, about the same amount as 2003.

However, the value of this year's exports is forecast to be about 22.5 billion baht due to a global slump in shrimp prices. The figure last year registered 26 billion baht.

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