Thailand strengthens domestic shrimp market
December 11, 2007
For shrimp producers in Thailand export income has been the
main engine driving the growth, but they are working on to
expand its domestic market to beat the rising Baht. 80 percent
of cost for shrimp processors accounts for raw materials and
the strong currency gives farmers great pressure to lower
Pinyo Kiatpinyo, who is president for five shrimp cooperatives
in Thailand, such as Tacheen Basin shrimp farmer cooperatives
and Network of Thai shrimp farmer cooperatives, asserts with
emphasis that spurring domestic shrimp market is crucial to
avoid currency fluctuation.
Total Thai shrimp production is 500,000 tons, of which only
10% is for domestic market. With increased disposable income
thanks to economic growth, expansion of domestic market is
possible, said Kiatpinyo.
"Per capita annual consumption of shrimp in Thailand
is only 800 grams. Although retail prices are 10 to 20 Baht
expensive per kilogram than other animal proteins, Thai economic
growth and growing interest in seafood due to BSE and avian
flu will contribute to a stronger demand. Hopefully we would
like to increase domestic market to 40 percent in five years",
Thailand`s black tiger production faces
December 11, 2007
Shrimp industry in Thailand wishes to increase the production
of black tiger shrimp, but it is more challenging than they
expect after vannamei dominates ponds.
According to Department of Fisheries of Thailand, production
ratio of black tiger shrimp was over 50%, but it shifted to
vannamei and its production accounted for merely 3% in 2005.
Although their figure indicates black tiger`s share increased
to 10% in 2006, many experts doubt the number.
Department of Fisheries hopes to beef up black tiger`s production
ratio to 10% next year and 30% on a long term basis, as they
believe they lost Japanese market share by shifting the production
to vannamei and Asian rivals, such as Vietnam took the position,
said Dr. Poonsap Virulhakul, Senior Expert in Fisheries Management
of Department of Fisheries of Thailand.
Asian Seafoods`, a listed company on the Bangkok Stock Exchange,
processing proportion of black tiger is less than five percent
because its major market the United States mainly orders vannamei,
said Suree Jansawat, assistant managing director and purchasing
manager at the company. Jansawat hopes the company is able
to secure more black tiger, but he sees it is unlikely.
"Our main black tiger markets are Japan and Australia.
Actually, we are the largest black tiger exporter to Australia,
which is about 500 tons a year. We pay 25% more per kilogram
to farmers who produce vannamei and 50%, or 100 Baht for black
tiger. We hope the production of black tiger will be increased
to 10%, but quality of black tiger is not stable and farmers
are not willing to make that species".
Attapon Siridhara, who first produced 100% vannamei in Thailand,
says you can`t go back to black tiger once you start farming
"Production of black tiger is erratic. Sometimes you
have four to five different sizes even if you farm shrimp
under the same condition and they tend to stay at the bottom,
while vannamei fans out in different locations. Black tiger
consumes animal protein and needs more fish meal than vannamei,
which pushes up operational costs and sheds profit".
MEL reveals its eco-label
December 7, 2007
Japan Fisheries Association announced Thursday it officially
established an environmental standard for sustainable and
well-managed fisheries, Marine Eco-label Japan (MEL).
The label, sought from the public was unveiled. The label
was created to accentuate its amiableness to seep into the
world, said Mitsue Sato, a 40-year-old housewife, who designed
The program is designed to meet the United Nations Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO) guidelines adopted in March,
2005 in Rome.
JFA says that it will be most concerned about being accepted
globally and offers the eco-label at reasonable cost.
Upon official launch of the program, MEL Japan starts accepting
applications for candidate for independent certifiers and
industry-classified bodies that advise or act over in the
process of accreditation.
The program will be operated by JFA, at least for the present,
as a non-profit organization. JFA says it will focus on public
relations through its website and brochure to promote the
eco-label to the world and avoid major confusion with other
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