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July 18, 2013


An Overview of the Shrimp Farming and Shrimp Feed Industries


From Abstract: Thailand has been the leading exporter of farmed shrimp for many years.  Giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) farming began in Thailand in the mid-1980s with the transfer of hatchery, farming and feed production technology from Taiwan.  The exclusive farming of tiger shrimp continued until 2002 when the Pacific white shrimp (P. vannamei) was introduced.  Due to the availability of imported SPF broodstock and ease of culture, vannamei quickly replaced monodon, and today it accounts for about 98% of production.


Typically, yields of tiger shrimp were three to four metric tons per hectare per crop, but with the adaptation and evolution of farming methods and the switch to vannamei, yields, on average, have increased to about 15 tons per crop.  A large number of farms that use early partial harvests have consistently harvest 20-25 tons per crop, and a few highly skilled farmers regularly produce 50-75 tons per crop.  Auto feeders have recently been introduced on farms, and feed companies have been asked to adapt their feeds for auto feeders.  While there have been attempts to introduce extruded shrimp feed, the large investment in pelleted feed equipment for extruded feeds means that they will remain a niche product.  Overseas buyers of Thai shrimp are now asking for sustainable farmed shrimp, and feed producers are starting to develop suitable feeds that meet their requirements.


The change of culture species and the large increase in productivity caused significant changes in the shrimp feed industry.  The higher quality of tiger shrimp feed was unnecessary for white shrimp, so lower protein feeds with less fish meal and less expensive ingredients were developed.  While feed conversion ratios decreased, the large increase in productivity increased the amount of feeds sold, leading to a significant expansion of shrimp feed manufacturing.  In 2003, estimated feed production increased from about 400,000 tons to produce 173,000 tons of shrimp to more than 800,000 tons to produce 563,000 tons of shrimp in 2011.  There are about ten major players in the Thai shrimp feed industry and numerous smaller companies.  Total production capacity of the shrimp feed industry has been estimated to be about 1.7 million tons, so there is substantial excess capacity and the feed business is highly competitive.


Source: The Thumb Drive Containing the Abstracts from Aquaculture 2013 (February 21-25, 2013, Nashville, Tennessee, USA).  Information: John Cooksey, World Aquaculture Conference Management, P.O. Box 2302, Valley Center, California 92082, USA (phone 1-760-751-5005, fax 1-760-751-5003, email  An Overview of the Shrimp Farming and Shrimp Feed Manufacturing Industries in Thailand.  Thomas R. Wilson (email, Vice President, Thai Luxe Enterprises Public Co., Ltd., 69/8 Moo 10, T. Nhongchumphol, A. Khaoyoi, Petchaburi 76140 Thailand).  February 2013.


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