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August 25, 2014

Thailand

Predictions for the Second Half of 2014

 

Thai experts view predictions of 200,000 metric tons of farmed shrimp for 2014 as overly optimistic, after first half output declined 38% to 82,050 metric tons, compared to the first half of 2013.

 

At the Aquaculture Roundtable event held in Phuket, Thailand, on August 20-21, 2014, Panisuan Jamnarnwej of the Thai Frozen Foods Association (TFFA), said after the all time low in 2013, “200,000 tons for 2014 is an optimistic level”.

 

   

 

Satasap Viriyanantawanit, country manager for Thailand for Siam Canadian Foods, echoes this viewpoint.  “I am afraid Thailand may not reach 200,000 tons because of the high prices on small sizes.  In addition, there seem to be some regular diseases that either kill shrimp or make them sick and not grow as well as they should, such as whitespot, white feces, even EMS in some areas.  TFFA and many other packers are convinced that the second half output in 2014 will not beat the first one, it will be more or less the same,” he said.  This would leave Thailand finishing the year with production of around 165,000 tons, which would be down 71% from its peak production year of 2010 when it produced 640,000 tons.  On average, the main sizes from Thailand are between 100 and 120 count per kilogram for whole shrimp, which is very small, he said.  Smaller sizes of shrimp, of course, bring down tonnage volume.

 

   

 

 

Thai farmers and processors have made various other shifts in 2014, said Jamnarnwej.  The Thai industry has been coping with EMS since late 2011 by reducing the number of ponds stocked, harvesting early to minimize risk, selling smaller shrimp and reducing processing capacity.  It is shifting the industry to think more and more about using value-added products that have, say, 60% shrimp meat in them, said Rittirong Boonmechote, managing director of Thai Union. “That is the way things will go, more value-added and more automation.  We are developing new products every day, but this is an area that we have to push more...and learn from.”

 

TFFA’s Jamnarnwej gave an example of how the production drop has hit Thailand’s sales in the USA.  “Thailand had 21% of the USA market in 2012 and it went to 10% in 2013.

 

Siam Canadian’s Viriyanantawanit said that during the first half of 2014, Thailand was suffering from poor climate conditions, like long periods of hot weather and little rain, which had a negative effect on production.  This caused a lack of freshwater to manage the farms.  “The salinity level in the water was high and it had direct relationship to the bacteria level.  The higher the salinity, the higher the bacteria level.  Bacteria caused EMS and other diseases.  The first half of this year was not quite successful, as a result.”

 

Source:Undercurrent News.  Editor, Tom Seaman.  Thai Shrimp Farmers’ Focus on Small Sizes Makes 200,000 Tons ‘Optimistic Level’ for 2014.  Tom Seaman  (undercurrent@undercurrentnews.com).  August 25, 2014.

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