Thailand’s shrimp export value to drop 12 percent this year. : October 28,2014
Shrimp exports are not expected to recover until next year’s second quarter, as Thailand has yet to eliminate Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) from its shrimp farms, Poj Aramwattananont, president of the Thai Frozen Foods Association, said.
“Overall shrimp exports remain in bad shape, with the conditions expected to be prolonged until next year,” he told the Bangkok Post.
“For this year, we expect the country’s total production to reach only 200,000 [metric] tons, with export volume expected to fall by 25 percent from last year.
EMS first hit a shrimp farm in China in 2009, then moved through Vietnam before spreading to Thailand in mid-2012. The outbreak has severely damaged the Thai shrimp industry and exports of related products.
Before the disease hit Asian farms, Thailand produced around 500,000 to 600,000 metric tons of shrimp annually. But that figure fell by 42 percent last year to 270,000 metric tons, while shrimp exports fell by 34 percent to 187,000 metric tons worth THB 60 billion (€1.5 billion/$1.8 billion).
Poj said shrimp export value this year was expected to fall by 12 percent from last year.
“The Fisheries Department is raising baby shrimp available from imported foreign breeders and has started supplying them to farmers,” he said. “If the hatchery succeeds, we expect Thailand’s shrimp farming will improve and exports recover accordingly, possibly in next year’s second quarter.”
Poj said EMS would remain a threat to shrimp exports.
Other risks include lingering allegations of forced labor and human trafficking made by the United States and EU and a possible termination of the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) in European countries early next year.
If the GSP is cut, Thai processed shrimp will lose EU privileges next Jan 1, and import tariffs will rise to 12-20 percent from 7 percent.
In the first eight months of this year, Thailand shipped 89,462 metric tons of frozen shrimp, down 32 perccent year-on-year. Value declined by 17 percent to $1.16 billion (€913.5 million).
The main market remains the United States, which bought 35,000 metric tons, down by 23.9 percent, with a value of $454 million (€357.5 million), down by 5.6 percent.
Shipments to the EU totaled 11,034 metric tons, down by 39.5 percent, with a value of $156 million (€122.9 million), down 38.5 percent.
Exports to Japan reached 23,670 metric tons, down 38.2 percent, with a value of $283 million (€222.9 million), down 30.5 percent.