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Thailand’s shrimp industry looks promising this year despite lingering grave concerns about viral outbreaks, rising international trade barriers in light of the fragile US and EU economies, and more natural disasters.

“We foresee another year of good growth in 2012, as global demand for shrimp remains strong and the price is affordable,” said Somsak Paneetatyasai, president of the Thai Shrimp Association.

“But this is the case only if no calamities break out like last year and farmers have decent farming management plans.”

According to the industry’s body, the world’s shrimp production was estimated at 2.335 million tons last year, a slight drop from 2.35 million tons in 2010, with Thailand’s farmed shrimp production making up 600,000 tons, down 6 percent from 640,000 in 2010.

The country’s exports for 11 months ending in November were 361,460 tons, a 7.87 percent contraction from the same period last year, but by value they rose 9.78 percent to 101.13 billion baht, outstripping 100.94 billion baht for the whole of 2010.

The production decline was mainly attributed to heavy floods in late 2010 and early 2011 in the southern region and heavy rains and cool weather in the central and eastern regions in the second half of the year.

According to Mr Somsak, the country’s shrimp trade is expected to grow by at least 10 percent in terms of both production and export value, boosted by strong global demand despite the troubled economies of the U.S. and the euro zone.

Click here to read the full story from The Bangkok Post >

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