Shrimp peak season boosts export activity in Indonesia, but market is still relatively quiet, industry players say.
Indonesia’s shrimp exports saw a short spike in demand during its peak season, when its prices fell, said James Gulkin, managing director of the frozen seafood exporter Siam Canadian Group.
December to January is the peak season for Indonesia shrimp, and according to Gulkin, price for Indonesian shrimp were around $0.15 (€0.12) to $0.35 (€0.27) per pound less compared to Thailand’s shrimps.
Exports to the United States over the past 30 to 45 days saw an increase, Gulkin told IntraFish.
Bambang Widigdo, the head of Indonesia’s shrimp commission, told IntraFish the export figures would be out next week. He said export numbers are thought to have increase slightly.
Even with the increase in exports, some industry players feel that it is still a relatively quiet market for Indonesian shrimp.
For the large-sized shrimp, price are still comparable to Thailand, and are more expensive than Indonesia’s, Indra Karim, exports manager for shrimp processor Indonesia Samudera Persada, told IntraFish.
As the season comes to an end in January, and shrimp supply from Indonesia start to drop, prices are expected to go back up again.
With a recent antibiotics scare in Vietnam’s shrimp, which has already been rejected by Japan this month, Karim said it may give a boost to a slowly recovering Indonesian shrimp exports.
Pending any weather or problems, Widigdo expects Indonesia to export 400,000 to 450,000 metric tons of vannamei and 100,000 to 150,000 metric tons of black tiger in 2012.
To ensure a better recovery for shrimp exports, Indonesia also needs to keep an eye on inflation, said Gulkin.
With its economy doing well, Indonesia’s inflation, which currently stands at 3.79 percent, might pose a potential problem for Indonesian shrimp if it too quickly, he said.
Indonesian shrimp farmer, which produce 150 metric tons per month per farm on average, might also be a supply obstacle as well if they were to hold their stocks in anticipation of higher shrimp prices said Utama.
But Widigdo is confident that policies like “kampong vannamei” or “vannamei village” started by recovering shrimp giant Central Proteinaprima (CP Prima) to cultivate good relationships with shrimp farmer, would prevent supply problems.
In addition, the Indonesian government has plans to revitalize abandoned shrimp farms in order to boost production, he said.