Minimum wage hike hurts Thai shrimp exports
Shrimp producers want the government to revise the policy to raise the minimum wage and help with outsourcing, penetrating new markets and eliminating non-tariff barriers.
They also want the government to promote value-added development to ensure rising exports for the industry. A report from the Thai Trade Offices in North America, Europe and Latin America showed that Thailand is losing market share and export competitiveness to Vietnam due to that country’s lower shrimp prices. Vietnamese shrimp is cheaper by 20 to 30 percent.??Amid the global economic slowdown and euro crisis, consumers are spending their money carefully and choosing cheaper goods from Vietnam, the report said. In the first seven months of this year,??Thai shrimp exports dropped by 10 percent to USD 1.6 billion (THB 49.25 billion).
The Commerce Ministry recently cut the growth target for shrimp exports this year to only 5 per cent from the earlier projection of 13 percent to USD 3.25 billion. Kanokknang Pongsathaporn, senior marketing manager of Golden Sea Frozen Foods Co, said last week that the increase in the minimum daily wage to THB 300 and the shrimp price subsidy have pushed up production costs.