Gulkin: Global farmed shrimp prices likely stable until March increases : Jan 11, 2018
Neil Ramsden : UndercurrentNews
Prices for farmed vannamei shrimp should be fairly stable through January and February, with an expected rise coming in March when importers and end users start looking at inventory replacement, Jim Gulkin, CEO of seafood trader Siam Canadian Group, told Undercurrent News.
While the US remains the “go-to” market, China will remain a major factor in terms of market direction, he said.
“China domestic consumption continues to grow through traditional channels, and e-commerce is starting to have an impact as well. China’s own shrimp production continues to struggle and imports will therefore continue to grow.”
China still has a little time for purchases for arrival prior to Chinese New Year, but that window is closing fast, and “the uncertain situation at Hai Phong” means imports for January will drop significantly, he said.
This likely refers to China’s crackdown in seafood smuggling, which some Latin American exporters have insisted has had a negligible impact on shipments to the market via Vietnam; though others were less sanguine.
At the same time the US market has been slow since November, said Gulkin. “Inventories were high. [We] need to see how consumption was for the holiday period in December.”
US imports throughout 2017 were up year-on-year, he noted, though the US economy “is looking strong, outlook is good, and I expect consumption will continue to be strong”, he said.
Thailand and Vietnam are now at the end of their main production seasons, while India is winding down and prices “might be firming up there”, he said.
“Indonesia production continues to be adequate, and although most processors are raising their prices based on expected increased raw material prices, some processors are still holding limited inventory at lower prices.”
Overall, then, Gulkin said that while overall production for Q1 is down, he doesn’t expect any major purchasing to start before near the end of the quarter.
“Therefore I expect prices to remain fairly static for January to February. I think prices might start to move up in March… production from all Asian origins will be at a low ebb at that time. Production will start to increase in April, and should see some softening in prices around June, before the major purchasing starts.”
As a quick overview:
Thai farmed vannamei prices, ex-farm, standard grade were at THB 180-185 per kilogram for 60 count, and THB 170-180 for 70 count, head on, in the first week of 2018.
Indian prices – head on, shell on (HOSO), ex-farm – from Tamil Nadu were INR 380/kg for 40 count, INR 350 for 50 count, and INR 320 for 60 count, in week one.
In mid December Ecuador shrimp were going for $9.00-9.80/kg FOB for HOSO sizes 20-30. 30-40 count were at $8.20-8.40/kg, but they have since significantly decreased.
You can follow all Undercurrent’s prices information at the prices portal.