Thai shrimp producers suffering tough end-of-year losses : December 27, 2016
Neil Ramsden : Undercurrentnews
Thai shrimp packers are suffering a tough end to 2016, having to sell at a loss to honor delayed contracts while unable to secure new deals, Siam Canadian’s general manager in Thailand, Satasap Viriyanantawani, told Undercurrent News.
In mid-November Undercurrent reported some Asian shrimp packers were delayed on shipping for North American holiday orders, due to shortages of raw material on certain sizes.
Buying for the holiday season from US and Canadian buyers was done, but packers were delayed on filling orders. “I think there have been some shortages relative to commitments in Thailand, Vietnam, and India,” one source said.
For Thailand this situation has continued into December, with raw material supplies not matching the amounts needed to meet the orders already agreed to.
“Some of the orders that were originally booked for the holidays have been getting pushed back, and are still delayed until now,” said Viriyanantawani.
“It is unfortunate for Thai shrimp packers that most contracted prices for those orders are extremely cheap, compared to current prices, and therefore most of the buyers do not want to cancel them — even though they have been delayed for weeks and months.”
Several Thai packers are still trying to honor these cheap contracts, he said.
However, they are left in the situation where they are having to honor cheap contracts, but with no chance to secure new orders at the higher prices — because current raw material prices in Thailand are more expensive than in India, Indonesia, and China, he said.
“Basically everything they produce now is a 100% loss.”
Prices for Thai shrimp have been rising since the start of December. 60 pieces per kilogram head-on vannamei were THB 180-185 ($4.99-5.13)/kg at the start of the month, and this has risen 5% to THB 190-195/kg by Dec. 17.
70 count have risen from THB 170-175 to THB 185-190, while 80 count have increased from THB 160-165 to THB 175-180.
Thailand’s shrimp production is expected to continue to recover in 2017, with a production level of 350,000 metric tons possible, according to Somsak Paneetatyasai, president of the Thai Shrimp Association.
Supplies still thin on ground in India
At the start of December Undercurrent reported that the final harvests of the year in certain regions were doing nothing to relief scarcity of raw material, poor ar they were.
A recent update from an Undercurrent source buying from India said that prices remain fairly stable there, with harvests still fairly poor and scarcity expected to go on until February 2017.
This buyer said a small number of farmers in Andhra Pradesh have stocked ponds with a view to harvesting before February, but competition for these limited supplies is likely to be fierce in January.
Most other farmers, in Orissa and Kolkata, will wait until February to even begin stocking, so harvests should begin in earnest from the end of May. Most are sticking with vannamei, and black tiger harvests are expected to be as scarce as they were during 2016, this source said.
The latest Indian, and Thai, shrimp prices can be found at our prices portal.