Nov. 5, 3.57 p.m. C.S.T
Elisabeth Fischer: Intrafish
Thai shrimp recovery taking longer than expected?
Thai shrimp producers are still suffering from EMS, and a recovery from the crisis could take longer than expected.
“We thought things would have turned around by now but we’re not seeing it yet,” Jim Gulkin, managing director at Siam Canadian, said during an IntraFish visit at the company’s booth.
Indonesia is taking up some of the “slack” but “there’s a big hole in Thailand, and as a results sales have dropped significantly in the country.
“It’s a very big change in the industry,” Gulkin said, adding many processors are running at 50 percent of their capacity.
Prices are continuously high, and Gulkin doesn’t believe 2014 will see a massive drop, as predicted by some industry watchers. “I believe prices will remain high through the first half of next year.
“Sales have slowed down considerably,” he said.
The upcoming holiday season, however, will be an indicator what direction prices are going, especially in the United States, with Thanksgiving just around the corner.
“If consumption is not too bad there’ll be a lack of shrimp in January/February but a lack of interest could push prices down,” he said.
The political situation in the United States, with the recent government shutdown, is not helping, he said, leaving consumers concerned and insecure, and perhaps “more conservative” in their shopping behavior.
Shrimp make up about $260 to $270 million of the company’s total annual sales value of $290 million.