Siam Canadian’s Gulkin: US shrimp buyers in box seat : March 10, 2016
Tom Seaman – Undercurrent News
BOSTON, US — The weakness in exchange rate
s and economies in other key shrimp markets means the US buyers are in a strong position in 2016, said Jim Gulkin, the founder and CEO of Siam Canadian Group Frozen Seafood Supplier.
Speaking during the 2016 Boston seafood show, Gulkin told Undercurrent News the US market is quiet, at the moment. Usually at this time of the year, where there is little shrimp production from Asia, prices are up.
“Supply is usually short and prices high, at this time. This year, I see that is less the case,” said Gulkin, who’s Sian Canadian exports frozen seafood from Thailand, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, India and Myanmar.
“The US market is on the quiet side, a little soft. I guess it is well stocked. There is not a lot of interest in buying, which is what is bringing Indian prices down,” he told Undercurrent.
“This [prices dropping in India] seems to be due to a lack of business, as much as anything else,” he said. “There are too many suitors. The US market is the prettiest girl at the dance this year.”
With the dollar and economy strong, US buyers have a double benefit, he said.
“You look at Canada, the economy is not doing well and the currency has tanked,” he said. The same is also true, to varying degrees, of Australia, the Europe Union, Mexico and also China.
“In China, the currency is not an issue, but the economy is not where it used to be,” said Gulkin. “There are a lot fewer markets that can take the volumes.”
The strong position of the US buyers means there could be softness in the overall market, with “too many people knocking on the door”, said Gulkin.
Prices are likely to move down between now and June, between 10-15%, he said.
“Then, we will likely see prices move back up 10%. I don’t see any massive wild fluctuations this year, I see fairly steady pricing,” said Gulkin.
The main US buy starts in May-June. “We will likely see a bounce when buying starts. This will push up prices and they will likely hold steady through Q2 and Q3,” he said.
Thai price rise, production set to be up
Meanwhile, packers’ vying for raw material, while prices are down in India, is driving the increase in prices in Thailand.
“There are too many orders on the books and not enough raw material. Prices are up, with packers struggling with delivery dates,” said Gulkin.
“Their eyes were bigger than their stomach. It’s a temporary thing. Now, current Thai prices are not of interest to many people, they are too high,” he said.
For Thailand, Gulkin sees 270,000 metric tons to 280,000t as the likely output for this year. “Some say 300,000t, I think that is a tad optimistic.”
In Indonesia, farmers are struggling with disease.