Siam Canadian plans to develop China shrimp imports amid bearish production outlook : March 21, 2017
Tom Seaman : Undercurrentnews
Siam Canadian Group has hired a sales executive for the China market, as it also sees growth from its import business in Thailand.
The company, which is headed up by Canadian Jim Gullkin and based in Thai capital Bangkok, sees an opening to import shrimp and other seafood into China, given the weak production outlook from the county’s own farms.
Gulkin’s new China sales person is based in Guangzhou and will get going with shrimp and other seafood, focused on foodservice, Gulkin told Undercurrent News.
Siam Canadian generates around $1 million in sales from importing seafood into Thailand at the moment, he said.
This is a small part of the firm’s overall turnover, which hit $330m in 2016, but it’s something Gulkin is keen to grow, but steadily.
“We are going to take it slowly. Fifteen years ago, I’d have expanded into all imports in all our offices [in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and India] at once,” he told Undercurrent.
The plan to open up imports into China comes as the country struggles with production.
Early mortality syndrome and other shrimp diseases “are still widespread and no proper structure or plan is in place on the government level or within the private sector to get control of this situation as they have in Thailand and other countries”, wrote Gulkin, in a recent blog post on the country’s shrimp production.
“If China production remains at same level as 2016, white shrimp suppliers believe raw material prices will be the highest among shrimp producing countries,” he added.
“However, the Chinese domestic market seems to be able to accept these levels and consumption remains strong. Shrimp processing factories producing for exports will remain dependent in imports of raw material from India, Indonesia and other Asian countries,” wrote Gulkin.
According to white shrimp suppliers, major China shrimp pond seedings will start to take place late March, but “major improvement” on 2016 is anticipated.
During the GSMC conference, the shrimp panel forecasted production in China would drop below 600,000 metric tons, however.