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May 21, 2015


Processing Plants Need 350,000 Metric Tons


Although Thai farmed shrimp production is improving, it has a long way to go to hit the level needed to cover the industry’s processing capacity.  The common consensus seems to be that production will increase in 2015 as farmers learn methods of coping with early mortality syndrome (EMS).  The question is, by how much.


“Well, we seem to have bottomed out [at 200,000 metric tons] last year,” said Choopong Lueskprasert, managing director of Marine Gold Products, the second largest shrimp exporter in the country behind Thai Union Frozen Products.  “Production this year is...likely to be between 250,000 and 260,000 tons, but 300,000 tons would be very hopeful.  I am not sure this is likely, though.”  According to Lueskprasert, around 350,000 tons of raw material are needed to cover the total production capacity of the industry.   “Unless we, as an industry, can get 350,000 tons from our farms and imports then capacity will have to reduce.  There will need to be less of us,” he said.


Thai packers are already importing raw material from India to cover the shortfall.  This needs to be made less bureaucratic and faster. “There is a ban on imports from Indonesia, but imports are coming in from India.  The industry is pushing to make it much easier and faster for importing, as this is not the case now.”


Marine Gold is hoping for a 10-15% growth in revenues in 2015, after exporting 30 million pounds of finished products in 2014.   “The total size of the factory, which was expanded around six years ago, is 25,000 square meters.  We are only using around half of it, so we have plenty of room to grow, if production recovers,” said Lueskprasert.


Around 70% of Marine Gold’s exports go to the United States.  “The rest are going to Asian countries and...the United Kingdom.  We thought we’d lose the UK market when the GSP [Generalized System of Preferences] tariff went up at the start of the year, but they keep buying,” he said.  As of January 1, 2015, Thailand pays a tariff of 12% on raw shrimp going into the UK, compared to 4.2% under GSP.  At the start of 2014, the tariff on cooked and processed shrimp from Thailand went from 7% to 20%.


Source: Undercurrent News [eight free news reads every month].  Editor, Tom Seaman.  Thaifex 2015 Blog: Thai Shrimp Sector Needs 350,000t of Raw Material to Meet Processing Capacity.  Tom Seaman  (  May 20, 2015.

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