Thai shrimp raw material prices firm as India drops : November 5, 2014
November 5, 2014, 7:55 am
Tom Seaman – UNDERCURRENT NEWS
Qingdao, CHINA — Thai shrimp farmers are holding back supply, knowing packers are looking to fulfill US holiday orders, as prices in India and Indonesia drop.
“Thai packers are under huge pressures from their buyers to arrange to ship some of the pending orders before certain deadline, to arrive in the US and Canada before holiday season so some supermarkets can put ads for sales promotion,” said Satasap Viriyanantawanit, general manager for Siam Canadian Group.
Raw material prices in Thailand have gone from THB 175-178/kilogram for 70/kg count and THB 157-165/kg for 80/kg count for the week of Oct. 20-25, to THB 182-190 for 70/kg count and THB 168-180/kg for 80/kg count, for Oct. 27-Nov. 1.
“Farmers are holding back supply by hoping to push prices up,” Viriyanantawanit told Undercurrent News, speaking during the China Seafood & Fisheries Expo taking place in Qingdao this week.
Combined with the packers buying more aggressively, this is causing the sharp week-on-week increase, he said. “This is not good, as Thailand is usually more expensive than other countries in Asia and these rising prices are making the gap even bigger.”
The market has been quiet the past six weeks he said, with no new major orders from the US or Canada, with only a bit of spot business, “here and there”.
At the same time as Thai prices are firming, Indonesia and India are dumping their prices and hope these falling prices will be attractive to buyers in North America, said Viriyanantawanit. “They need to generate some sales.”
In India, prices have weakened quite a bit during past couple of weeks, due to good arrivals, said a source with major Indian supplier.
The arrivals this week slowed down and raw material purchase seem to be going slightly up, he told Undercurrent News. “Importers are offering lower prices, but there seem to be no panic at the suppliers’ end. There are, however, a few low prices contracts that happened last week.”
Another source dealing with the Indian industry confirmed this picture, stating the Indian vannamei price remains almost the same this week as last week, after a fall.
“In fact, the availability In Andhra Pradesh, the main shrimp farming area in India, is not so favorable since the new stocking does not seem to yield the result everyone expected,” he told Undercurrent.
“This is likely to result from the below-par quality of seeds and also the fact that some farmers did not properly clean up their ponds in prior to the new seeding. The combination ultimately makes the mortality rate higher than it should be,” the source said.
In Orissa, the source said he has heard that the landing there are ok and the price is slightly lower, due to lower demand from packers.
“It also appears that the purchase for Christmas seems to be more sporadic throughout the second half of the year, as compared to previous years. Let’s see how the price development will be in the next few weeks,” he said.