Thailand to Reduce Shrimp Production in 2009
The Thai Shrimp Association yesterday announced plans to lower output by 20 percent next year.
Thai Shrimp Association President Somsak Paneetatyasai said a 20 percent reduction allows producers to retain the export price at the current $3.04 per pound. Next year, Thailand would produce 392,000 metric tons of shrimp, down from 490,000 metric tons this year.
Thai Frozen Foods Association President Pom Aramwattananont said earlier this week that shrimp orders from major markets, including the United States, European Union and Japan, have dropped since January.
Surat Thani Shrimp Farmers’ Club President Ekapoj Yodpinit claimed that oversupply needed to be solved before the upcoming harvest in March; failure to solve it by then would cause more permanent damage.
This would mark the third consecutive output reduction for Thailand’s shrimp industry. Last year, the industry collectively reduced output by 7.55 percent, followed by another 20 percent this year. Despite the reduction, Paneetatyasai said the value of shrimp exports would remain at $2.3 billion next year, achieving 5 percent growth in volume to 360,000 metric tons. In 2007, exports of 340,000 metric tons brought home $2.43 billion.
Paneetatyasai explained that shrimpers would reduce the number of shrimp fry in the ponds and the number of harvests per year, from three times to once or twice.
Despite the current economic situation, Yodpinit is optimistic about the Thai shrimp industry’s survival. Factoring in that oil prices hover around $50 a barrel all next year, Yodpinit forecasted shrimpers should be able to survive.
Surapol Pratuangtum, Thai Marine Shrimp Farmers’ Association president, expects production costs to increase 10 to 15 percent next year.