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August 30, 2015


Tiger Shrimp Losing Out in USA Market


Over the last decade, Bangladesh’s giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) has been losing market share in the USA because it can’t compete with less-expensive, smaller, Pacific white shrimp (P. vannamei).


According to Bangladeshi exporters, only eight percent of the country’s total frozen shrimp exports are now destined to the USA, once their largest market.  This compares to about 30 percent five years ago.  In its last fiscal year (2014-2015), Bangladesh earned only $35 million from tiger shrimp exports, compared to $82 million in fiscal year 2010-2011.


USA consumers, hit by the economic downturn, changed their tastes from tiger to the white shrimp, which is small, but available at lower prices.


Bangladesh’s key rivals—Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and India—are gradually grabbing the world market by supplying white shrimp, which is not yet produced in Bangladesh because of governmental apathy.


An exporter said the price of per pound of white shrimp is cheaper than tiger shrimp by $2.00 to $2.50 a pound, which encourages western consumers to buy it.  When we offer tiger shrimp at $6 a pound, no buyer responds because white shrimp is selling at $4.00 to $ 4.50 a pound, the exporter said.


Shrimp farming is a key employer in the country’s poverty-stricken southwestern coastal region.  An estimated 1.0 million people are employed in the country’s 130 shrimp processing plants and on tens of thousands of farms.


Source: Financial Times.  American Diners Losing Lue of B’desh Shrimp.  Monira Muni (email  August 26, 2015.

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