Thai Union to purchase local snapper to help lift prices

Published on
October 9, 2019

Thailand’s leading seafood company, Thai Union Group, will buy 500 metric tons (MT) of snapper from local farmers to prevent local prices from sliding further after an influx of the fish was illegally imported from Malaysia, Thailand’s The Nation reported last week.

“We believe that it should take around a month and a half to reduce the excess fish supply, then the snapper price should slowly go back to normal,” the daily quoted Rittirong Boonmechote, president of frozen food and related businesses at Thai Union, as saying.

Thai Union on Wednesday did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the possible timing of the purchase.

The Thai company will buy the volume at the price of THB 90 (USD 2.97, EUR 2.7) per kilogram, much higher than the current market price of THB 55 (USD 1.8, EUR 1.65) per kilogram.  

In particular, for farmers who have registered for the price guarantee scheme, Thai Union will buy the fish at the price of THB 120 (USD 3.96, EUR 3.6) per kilogram, Rittirong said. He added that currently his company has no demand for snapper, but it is willing to use its frozen chambers and preserving equipment to help Thai farmers during a difficult time.

Thai Union’s move was announced after snapper from Malaysia has been reportedly imported with large volumes into Thailand, causing a decline in selling prices.

Thai farmers will produce about 80,000 MT of snapper this year, up 14 percent from 2018, the article said.

Thanaporn Sriyakul, an adviser for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing from Thailand’s Department of Fisheries, said that his department will try to crack down on illegally imported seafood by beefing up border checkpoints and using special units to patrol land and marine transport routes. His department and the Commerce Ministry are also considering the issuance of anti-dumping measures to prevent cheaper, lower-quality fish from neighboring countries from ruining Thailand’s domestic market, the daily said.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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