Vietfish 2019: Gulkin: Drop in Indian production ‘healthier’ for global industry: Sep 1, 2019
India’s 2019 shrimp production issues – while obviously unfortunate for farmers there – have created a “healthier” picture for global supply, suggested Siam Canadian boss Jim Gulkin.
Undercurrent News recently reported that flash foods may have reduced India’s overall shrimp output for the year by another 5%, on top of already tricky conditions.
“I’ve heard some people say their output will be down 30% this year,” said Gulkin. “Personally, I think we’re looking at 15-20%.”
After 2018’s low raw material prices, which saw farmers lose money, there has been a mixture of delayed, reduced, or altogether canceled pond stocking this year. On top of that, white feces, Enterocytozoon hepatopenaei (EHP), and now the weather have hit production.
“I think for global supply, maybe the production dip is a healthier thing,” said Gulkin. “If India had hit its full potential we’d have been looking at 700,000-750,000 metric tons of production, and I think it would have kept prices low.”
There has also been a rough balance between supply and demand from India’s processors, he said.
“In Thailand, pre-EMS [early mortality syndrome], there was real processing overcapacity. It creates a false market, where raw material prices are high, because processors need to secure it, but export prices don’t match that, because customer demand may not be there.”
He added that India potentially runs the risk of seeing this in the coming years, with several new processing plants coming online and others expanding. Of course, India is aiming to push its production up still, following the trend of recent years.