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Japan's ban of Indian shrimp a boon to Thai export
Publication Date : 24-10-2012
Thai shrimp exporters will enjoy a windfall as Japan has found ethoxyquin contamination in imports from India.
"Shrimp exports from India have been banned because of the use of antibiotics, which Vietnam and China are also doing," said Somsak Praneetatyasai, president of the Thai Shrimp Association.
Japan has toughened inspections of shrimp from Vietnam and China for ethoxyquin residue levels exceeding its limits.
The problem has caused Japan to order more Thai shrimp. Shrimp farmers in Thailand use more pro-biotic medicine instead of antibiotics.
Under Japan's standards, such residue in imported goods should not exceed 0.01 part per million in any shipment.
Thailand's total shrimp exports will reach 350,000-360,000 tonnes this year. Both volume and value are estimated to drop by 10 per cent.
Last year, the country sold 390,000-450,000 tonnes worth 100 billion baht (US$3.2 billion) overseas.
Two major markets abroad, the United States and Europe, have been hit by economic crises.
Thai shrimp exports to the US have slipped from 50 per cent to 40 per cent of the total. However, those to another major market, Japan, has risen to 23 per cent.
The increased exports to Japan have offset the loss in the US market. The weakness in exports will not hit Thailand so much as shrimp production is also expected to decline because of climate change, Somsak said.
Shrimp prices are heading up as supply goes down. One kilogram of 70-count (extra-small) shrimp is now fetching 150 baht, up from 120-130 baht previously.
The higher price is forecast to remain through the rest of this year.
"The attractive price will entice farmers to raise more shrimp next year," Somsak said.
However, shrimp breeders should not increase production, as that would bring a high risk of disease. They should also closely monitor weather forecasts before farming shrimp, he added.