December 29, 2005


Thailand's shrimp exporters to receive financial assistance


Thailand's commerce ministry and the Thai Bankers' Association (TBA) are planning a financial assistance plan, to help domestic shrimp exporters affected by the "continuous bond" imposed by the US.


Thai shrimp exporters were required to provide a bond or cash deposit against the payment for the anti-dumping duty imposed by the US.


However, many exporters lacked sufficient finances to comply with the rule.


President of the Thai Frozen Foods Association, Poj Aramwattananont, said domestic shrimp exporters faced high costs for obtaining bank guarantees to meet US requirements.


Poj added that the exporters had already paid a total of US$50 million for the bonds this year. But none have received any money back since the process of recovering it took about 18 months.


The bonds placed too much of an extra burden on exporters, in light of the 5.95 percent anti-dumping duty already imposed by the US on Thai shrimp, Poj said.


Thailand's Customs Department said shrimp exports to the US from January to November rose 25.5 percent on-year, to reach 146,268 tonnes worth US$880 million.


Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has decided to file a petition with the World Trade Organization over allegations that the US was employing unfair trade practices against Thai shrimp.

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