Thai value-added shrimp niche still unthreatened by Ecuador: Undercurrent News
BANGKOK, Thailand — Undercurrent News is reporting live from the annual Thaifex Anuga Asia food show, held over five days at the IMPACT Muang Thong Thani events hall in Bangkok, Thailand from May 23-28.
Dan Gibson: Undercurrent News
Although there was concern last year at the rate with which Ecuador was turning to value-added shrimp, the Latin American country has still not yet moved into the advanced processing sector as much as first feared, nor are they likely to soon, according to Siam Canadian CEO Jim Gulkin, speaking to Undercurrent News in Bangkok
“A number of companies in Ecuador have moved in this direction, but they haven’t caught up with Asia yet. So it will be some time before they can, and I don’t think they have the labor pool and abilities to do that. It’s more difficult than people imagine,” he said.
Although Ecuador has seemingly conquered the raw, shell-on commodity market, in terms of cooked, breaded or many types of peeled product, Asian producers – and Thailand especially – are still significantly more competitive.
“And if China comes back in full steam in terms of imports, then yes, there will be less interest from Ecuador to move towards value-added. If you can sell a head-on shrimp at a very good profit, it’s much easier and much faster than having to do something like cooking or peeling.”