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October 10, 2015


Prices and Exports Drop


Shrimp farmers and processors face big losses because of sluggish global demand for black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and ample supplies of white shrimp (P. vannamei).  Weak currencies in some of Bangladesh’s export markets also play a role in the decline in demand.  The downturn in shrimp shipments began in the second quarter of 2013-2014, according to the country’s Export Promotion Bureau.


“We are going through a rough time,” said Atiar Rahman, a shrimp farmer from Rampal in the southwestern district of Bagerhat.  Rahman is one of the 833,000 farmers who culture shrimp on 275,000 hectares of land and help the country earn more than half a billion dollars in exports every year.  “Almost all of us are making losses for weak prices and mortality,” said Rahman, who managed to recover only one-fifth of his investment last year.  At the farmer level, the price of shrimp has fallen 30 percent from a year ago.  Exporters said the price of shrimp now hovers around $5.50 per pound for 16-20 count shrimp, down from over $6.00 a year ago.


In fiscal 2014-15, exporters sold black tiger shrimp for $4.07 a pound, down from $5.85 in 2013-2014, according to Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association.


In fiscal 2014-15, Bangladesh exported 44,278 metric tons of shrimp, down 7 percent, compared to 2013-2014.  Exporters blame the slide in shipments on Western customers’ shift toward lower priced vannamei (supplied in ample quantity by India, Thailand and Vietnam), the slow economic recovery in the European Union and the weakness of the euro and the Russian ruble.


Source: The Daily Star.  Shrimp Industry’s Woes See No End.  Sohel Parvez.  October 9, 2015.

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