Thaifex 2019: Shrimp prices ‘boring’ in 2019, says Gulkin: Undercurrentnews
Louis Harkell: UnderCurrentNews
After last year’s rollercoaster in shrimp prices 2019 is set to be “boring”, according to Jim Gulkin, CEO of seafood sourcing and export firm Siam Canadian Group , which is headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand.
“I think this is a boring year,” Gulkin told Undercurrent News. “I think we’re seeing prices that are generally weak, and don’t have much room to go up or down, based on production.”
Ecuador’s production has increased and their prices have dropped significantly, he said, whereas Indonesia’s prices have been soft but fairly stable. “India’s prices are also soft, but also fairly stable.”
Harvests have been spread out, unlike last year, he said, when there was a glut in production in May and June, which caused prices to crash and farmers to suffer significant losses. “Almost like they [farmers] had a grand plan to do it [spread out harvests] although they didn’t, but it was smart.”
“So I see pricing up or down 10% from now to the end of the year,” he continued. “We’re at the end of Ramadan so Eid-al-Fitr is starting in Indonesia, which means a lot of harvesting has taken place. After Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr, I think prices will move up a bit in Indonesia, but they can’t move up massively because the market won’t accept it.”
He said a boring year would benefit US and European program buyers for foodservice and retail.
“You can book big quantities and be fairly comfortable you’re gonna get deliveries, and not have processors saying they need help. Prices aren’t gonna drastically fall, and you’re end-users are not gonna say prices are too expensive now.”
However, for spot buyers and traders who make their margins on market speculation, boring is less attractive.
As regards sizes, Gulkin reckons big sizes will be short this year and will be in big demand resulting in possible difficulties with deliveries. Supply of other sizes will be fairly stable, he reckons, with India producing plentiful quantities of small and medium-sized shrimp.
He reckoned for the year overall, average prices in 2019 will be slightly lower than in 2018.