One executive with a large importer on the east coast of the USA said shrimp output will be short until May and prices will remain firm until then. Another east coast importer added that the price increase could range from 3% to 5%.
Thailand: Jim Gulkin, managing director of Thailand-based Siam Canadian Group, agreed with this forecast, adding that industry players might see “some softening of prices” from mid-Q2, when global shrimp output is expected to go up. Of course there will be price increases and drops during the course of the year, but I do not expect any seismic shifts either up or down,” Gulkin said.
Thailand’s recovery from early mortality syndrome (EMS) is expected to continue this year. Recently, Thai shrimp farmers and traders forecasted a 10% increase in domestic production to total more than 300,000 metric tons in 2016. Thai production was around 230,000 in 2015.
From January 4-9, 2016, Thai prices for 60-count, head-on shrimp were $4.95 to $5.09 per-kilogram; for 70-count, $4.40 to $4.82 per kilogram; and for 80-count $4.13 to $4.40 per kilogram—all up slightly from the last week of December 2015.
India: Gulkin said India production will be “only slightly higher than 2015” on the back of the impact of diseases and low material prices. Last year, India had an 80,000-metric-ton drop in production to 280,000 tons, according to estimates by Fernando Garcia, aquaculture business development director at Epicore BioNetworks.
Gulkin said processing capacity in India would increase significantly in 2016, with many new processing plants coming online and existing plants expanding and increasing their processing volume. “This is likely to put more upward pressure on India’s raw material prices, so we might see higher production in the second half of 2016 if the farmers take that as a cue to seed more pond area,” he said.
Farm gate prices for Indian shrimp dipped at the start of 2016, but prices are expected to rise after mid-January.
Indonesia: In Indonesia production is slowing down after rapid growth, but Indonesia will still be a major contributor to the global market. Last year’s estimated production was 427,000 metric tons. “Indonesia’s production should be similar to 2015 unless higher raw material prices spur farmers to increase production,” Gulkin said. The price for 41/50-count, IQF,EZ-peel vannamei from Indonesia was $3.60 per pound at the end of 2015, whereas it had been at $3.15 a pound in mid-October 2015. Some sources said Indonesian shrimp output has been affected by weather and disease issues, such as EHP and whitespot.
China: China is now off-season and production will not return until June 2016, Gulkin said. “Lately the reports show the supply from Chinese farming has been deficient a few hundred thousand metric tons [!!],” he said.
United States: In 2016, the USA market will be “even more important than usual” as USA buyers will benefit from a strong dollar, lower shrimp prices (compared to previous years) and an improved USA economy, Gulkin said.
Europe: Due to its weakened currency, Europe is not benefiting from the drop in shrimp prices. Although Europe bought heavily in the last two quarters of the of 2015, demand decreased after it secured its supplies for the holidays. In early 2016, however, orders from European buyers are expected to increase as they restock their inventories, an Ecuadorian producer said.
Ecuador: Ecuador’s shrimp prices were not buoyant at the end of December 2015, but they have recovered slightly recently. Farm gate prices in Ecuador for 30/40-count, whole shrimp were $7 per kilo on December 21, 2015, $6.00/kg for 40/50 count, $5.25/kg for 50/60 count and $4.75 for 60/70 count.