Shrimp Prices Rise Globally

Lucy Towers
31 July 2013, at 1:00am

GLOBAL - Disease outbreaks, lack of capital and other difficulties have slashed shrimp farming areas in many large producing countries. The decline in shrimp production and supply for global market has pushed shrimp prices up rapidly.

In 2013, farmed shrimp production in Asia – the largest shrimp production region in the world – is expected to slide remarkably. Thailand’s prediction reported during the early part of 2013 is that its farmed shrimp output in the whole year will go down by 30 per cent compared to that of 2012 as a result of the early mortality syndrome (EMS). EMS spread widely to many farming areas in Thailand from the eastern to the southern part, where is the largest shrimp culture. Even shrimp output can decline for 30 per cent to 250,000 MT, according to Thailand’s recent forecast, reports the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Nearly 80 per cent of shrimp farmers in the Mekong Delta in southern Viet Nam were hit by EMS. Besides, Viet Nam shrimp sector also suffer from lack of capital for producing. Farmers can use their cultivated land as a mortgage to get loans from banks, however, they can’t borrow a large amount of money because the value of their mortgage is low. Besides, mass mortalities of shrimps due to disease outbreaks in 2012 caused huge losses among shrimp farmers and stopped them from continuing the next crop.

Shrimp production in China and Malaysia was cut sharply as a result of the spread of EMS. In the first three months of 2013, Malaysia’s farmed shrimp production reached 60,000 MT, showing a sharp decline compared to the same period of the past year (90,000 MT). Official statistics on China’s shrimp output is unreported, however, the increase in shrimp imports into China in recent time proved that there is a severe shortage of raw shrimp in the country.

Shrimp price in the US increased by 13 – 15 per cent

The price of black tiger shrimp and whiteleg shrimp in the US market has jumped since the late December 2012 and continued to go up in the first half of 2013. During this period the price of black tiger shrimp increased by 15.6 per cent from US$6.4 per pound (in Jan 2013) to US$7.4 per pound (in Jul 2013). Whiteleg shrimp price in the market was also up 13 per cent from US$4.10 per pound to US$4.65 per pound.

Price of black tiger shrimp in Japan increased by US$5 

According to FIS’s report, shrimp demand in Japan in the first six months of 2013 was lackluster, however, the shrimp price in the country surged tremendously due to serious shortage of shrimp supply. Shrimp imports into Japan from India and Vietnam (two main shrimp suppliers for Japan) were refrained due to Ethoxyquin barriers amid the decline in Thailand’s shrimp supply for Japan caused by disease. Although Indonesia and Argentina boosted exporting shrimp to Japan, this can’t compensate the falling of shrimp supply from other suppliers.

The price of black tiger shrimp and whiteleg shrimp witnessed a sharp increase. The shrimp price from India, increased by almost US$5 per kilogram to US$15.95 per kilogram, from US$11.03 per kilogram. The shrimp price from Indonesia rose by US$3 per kilogram.

In Jan-Jun 2013, in Japanese market, the price of Indonesian whiteleg shrimp reported a remarkable advance. HLSO shrimp count 16/20 increased by US$1.8 per kilogram to US$13.1 per kilogram from US$11.32 per kilogram.

The shrimp aquaculture production in 2013 is expected to reduce its volume of production due to EMS on Asian shrimp and white spot virus on shrimp in the Latin American producers. Although global demand for shrimp is gloomy due to economic downturn, shortage of raw shrimp is expected to drive the shrimp price up in the second half of this year.