The Thailand-based frozen shrimp and seafood supply group expects to grow at between 8 – 12% in 2012, but its founder sees raw material supply as its main challenge.

Siam Canadian expects to see growth from its divisions in Thailand, Indonesia, India and China in 2012, especially of vannamei shrimp, said Jim Gulkin, the company’s founder, after its annual meeting on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7.

The annual meeting saw executives from the company’s Asia branch offices come to Bangkok, where the company is headquartered.

After the meetings, Gulkin told IntraFish he is confident the company can improve on its result for 2010. Overall, the group’s sales increased by 3 percent in value and decreased by 7 percent in volume, he said.

Its sales for 2011 so far are $275 million (€207.6 million) and Gulkin expects to reach $290 million (€218.9 million) by the end of December.

“Despite mixed results, the group’s overall profitability exceeded that of 2010,” he said.

For 2012, Gulkin is predicting growth of between 8 percent and 12 percent. However, he is also cautious, particularly on raw material supply.

“Although the world economy will certainly play an important role, it is expected that raw material supplies will be the most important factor for the group in 2012.” Gulkin said, echoing comments from Aris Utama, the director of Bumi Menara Internusa (BMI), Indonesia’s second largest shrimp exporter.

Although the Thai part of Siam Canadian’s business had a tough 2011, Thailand should have a strong 2012 on shrimp, said Gulkin. “Thailand’s focus will remain on medium to small sizes trying to keep its dominance in the retail and food service sectors. Barring weather problems, Thailand’s production will improve next year.”

China’s production is also hinging on weather, to a large extent.

“Raw material prices are good so incentive is there to increase production, again barring weather and disease problems,” he said.

Vietnam will produce less black tiger and more vannamei due to major crop failures and difficulties in black tiger production, said Gulkin.

India will continue to ramp up vannamei production while reducing black tiger production, he said.

Chinese tilapia production should also increase over 2012, depending on the weather.

“If China is not hit by unseasonably cold weather, tilapia production will increase in 2012 as raw material prices have overall been strong, he said.” For panagasius from Vietnam the outlook is uncertain. Raw material suppliers are not sufficient but sales have slowed, especially to Europe. Extremely high interest rates, high inflation and weak European economies make predictions difficult.”

Thailand down, Indonesia, India up

Over 2011, Siam Canadian Indonesia reported sales up significantly on both value and volume.

This increase is due to much better shrimp supplies after the disease problems of the past several years, said Gulkin. This growth is expected to increase in 2012.

Siam Canadian’s Indian division doubled sales value over 2011, down to the “vast increase” in vannamei production in India and its expanding marketplace. This should continue next year, he said.

Siam Canadian Food – its Thailand-based operation – also reported a marginal drop in sales over 2011. This due to “persistently high raw material prices, partly a result over capacity in processing in Thailand and partly as a result of supply disruptions following flooding in southern Thailand in March – not the recent flooding,” said Gulkin.

Also, the weak economies in North America and Europe and increased competition from South America, Indonesia and India hit result, he said.

Thailand makes up 36 percent of Siam Canadian’s business in container volume, Vietnam, 23 percent; China, 19 percent; Indonesia, 11 percent; India, 7 percent and its international trade division, 4 percent.

In dollar value, Thailand makes up 41.5 percent; China 17.5 percent; Vietnam, 15.5 percent; Indonesia, 14 percent; India, 8.5 percent; and the international trade division, 2 percent.


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Siam Canadian Group Frozen Seafood Exporters 

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