Shrimp exports poised to decline 50%
- Published: 15/07/2013 at 06:26 PM
- Online news:
Shrimp exports from Thailand may slump 50% this year because of a disease called Early Mortality Syndrome in one of the industry's worst crises, said Somsak Paneetatayasai, president of Thai Shrimp Association.
A Thai-language industry website recently posted this photo of dead shrimp in a discussion of the disease and its effects on exports.
Shipments would decline from an annual average of 350,000 metric tonnes, he said in a phone interview on Monday. Supply may also fall about 50% from normal production of 500,000 tonnes per year, he said.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has detailed the disease, known as Shrimp Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) or Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Syndrome (AHPNS).
It poses no risk to human health, the FAO stressed. But it ravages two popular species of shrimp - the giant tiger prawn and whiteleg shrimp.
The disease has killed cultivated shrimp in several countries in Asia where one million people depend on this type of aquaculture for their living, according to a report on the website of the United Nations' Food & Agriculture Organisation. Asia produced three million tonnes of shrimp with a value of US$13.3 billion in 2011, it said. The industry is showing signs of recovery after hatcheries, farmers and the government worked to stop the disease spreading, said Mr Somsak.
"We're seeing some encouraging signs that the outbreak is abating and shrimp supply in the second half of this year will rebound significantly," he said. "Farmers are more cautious in starting hatcheries again and this will make it difficult to boost shrimp output to the level before the disease started spreading."
Thai companies are considering importing prawns and related products including frozen ones from Ecuador, India and Vietnam to help meet local demand, according to the Thai Frozen Foods Association. While Thai Union Frozen Products Pcl (TUF) expects earnings to decline in 2013 because of the disease, business should start to recover in the second half, president Thiraphong Chansiri said last month.
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About the author
- Writer: Bloomberg News
Position: News agency