Largest Indian shrimp prices easing, but demand for smaller shrimp up : August 18, 2015
Neil Ramsden : UNDERCURRENTNEWS
Indian shrimp prices are stable as buyers move to secure limited stocks before harvesting pauses until September.
Raw material prices have been fairly stable since the first week of August, a processor in India told Undercurrent News, though inching downwards on the largest, 30 count, size.
Prices in Orissa and Kolkata are moving closer to those seen in Andhra Pradesh, he said, based on strong demand. Now, all three east coast states are seeing a similar price, whereas at the start of the month Andhra Pradesh was higher.
On Aug. 17, 30 count were at INR 370 ($5.66) per kilogram for head on, shell on – down from INR 390 the previous week, and from a stable level of INR 410 seen through much of the previous month.
Forty-count remains stable at INR 310, 60 count at INR 240 ($3.68)/kg, while 100 count are steady at INR 190 ($2.91)/kg. You can see the full prices on our prices portal here.
“Basically, the landings in Orissa have come down drastically since around 70- 75% of the material from the current crop has been used up,” said this source. “That means the current crop will be finished by this month end, and the new crop will come out in September, with most likely 70 counts down.”
The main crop in Kolkata and Orissa is likely to finish by the end of August, while the second harvest will start in September.
Landing patterns in Andhra Pradesh remain the same, with the main sizes being 16/20, 21/25, 26/30 and some 31/40, he said. That means supplies from the second harvest in Kolkata and Orissa should start around Sept.15, and will run through December. The main sizes are expected to be 30, 40 and 50 counts (80%) and the rest will be 60 counts and below, he stated.
“We have been told that some small counts have already been harvested in certain areas, but the quantity is still not significant.”
In Andhra Pradesh, the availability from September onwards should also be with 30, 40 and 50 counts as main sizes. “The price of 30 counts has come down this week. In general, the demand for reprocessing from Vietnam and China is not solid due to the fewer orders they have. The depreciation in the Chinese yuan may also play a part, but it’s not that significant.”
Production cuts driving prices
In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu survival rates have been improving drastically, according to Durai Balasubramanian, secretary of the Pattukottai Shrimp Farmers Association, which has 4,000 members.
“The recent harvest has been so successful, including my own farm; we were able to produce 25, 24, and 30 count. “Credit goes to MPEDA [the Marine Products Exports Development Authority] and CAA [Coastal Aquaculture Authority] for putting so much effort into regulating hatcheries,” he told Undercurrent.
Farmers now are aiming for stocking densities in the region of half those seen in 2014, he said, and the majority are looking to produce 20 to 25 count, as these large sizes reduce production costs and increase output through survival rates.
“Thirty count continue to come down [in price] as people who have stocked in April are now harvesting these sizes. The current prices for 30 count are around INR 370, prices in general have been stable for a few weeks.”
Harvesting would go on for another month, he suggested, and added that the market is a little uncertain – many farmers are unwilling to stock at the moment, and postlarvae prices are falling, reflecting this unwillingness to restock, he said.
India now heads into its cold season, when it becomes harder to produce large shrimp, even at low stocking densities. Current postlarvae prices are not high enough to support hatcheries, said Balasubramanian, and farmers tend to be unwilling to take a risk in the cooler climate. “The only way to survive in the current shrimp market is to produce 20 to 25 count,” he added.
Thai processors need shrimp
In Thailand, vannamei prices have risen over the last weeks, with processors attempting to secure enough raw material to fulfill pending orders. This strong demand is not being met with adequate supply just now, according to Thai seafood company Siam Canadian’s update blog.
“Many processors are absorbing cost differences in order to maintain workable DDP prices,” the firm added. “Processors are hoping raw material prices will eventually come down when supply improves, and/ or when majority of the orders are already shipped out.”
At the start of August the price on 60 count head on shrimp was THB 218 – 223/kg, up from THB 210 – 218/kg in the last week of July.
Seventy-count were THB 210 – 214/kg, up from THB 205 – 212/kg.