Tom Seaman
Prices for farmed shrimp from Thailand, the world’s largest producer, are creeping up, sources say.

Prices from Thailand are firm, due to concerns of the effects of a government price support scheme, said Jim Gulkin, founder of Siam Canadian Foods, a Bangkok-based supplier.

Prices to farmers this week are THB 130 (€3.2/$4.2) per kilogram for 50 pieces-per-kilogram size shrimp; THB 120 (€3/$3.8) per kilogram for 60 pieces/kilogram; and THB 118 (€2.9/$3.8) per kilogram for 70 pieces/kilogram, said Gulkin.

This is an increase on the price level seen at the end of April, Gulkin told IntraFish.

“On April 26, prices for the same sizes were THB 125 (€3.1/$4), THB 109 (€2.7/$3.5) and THB 106 (€2.6/$3.4) per kilogram respectively. So far, that is the effect of the talk of the price support scheme,” said Gulkin. “When the scheme comes into place, I expect a further bump, but hard to say how much and how long it will hold.”

Prices are up by between THB 10 (€0.25/$0.32) and THB 15 (€0.37/$0.48) across these sizes, said an executive with a Thai shrimp processor.

“The price is improving little by little now,” he told IntraFish. “For the short term, maybe there will be some shortage of shrimp during the next crop, due to too much early harvest on small sizes.”

But, for the long term, if shrimp prices continue increasing to a satisfy level, then the product volume from farmers will improve accordingly, he said.

Gulkin does not feel the prospect of a government price support scheme will have a large impact in the mid-to-long term.

“From what I hear, the scheme will be limited. So it will have some impact, but with raw material supplies abundant from other origins, as well as Thailand, and the markets very cautious; I think the effect will be limited.”

If the government does go ahead with the price support scheme, it will put Thailand in a bit of a tough spot, a US-based importer told IntraFish.

“Thailand is in a bit of a pickle as their government will appease the voting base with price fixing, which will make them uncompetitive relative to other sources,” he said.

“I suspect India and Indonesia will more than compensate for any shortages out of Thailand. It appears to be a buyers’ market for the next two to four months.”

Source from Intrafish

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