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BD shrimp demand increased in US, EU markets

Shrimp Processing

Shrimp Processing

The demand for shrimp from Bangladesh has increased significantly in the United States and European markets over an epidemic that attacked farms in China and other Southeast Asian countries.

The Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), the latest epidemic that attacked Asia’s booming shrimp industry, was first detected in Chinese farms in 2009 and then it gradually spread to Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, according to sources.

The price of Bangladesh’s ‘Black Tiger’ variety of shrimp rose to US$ 9 a kg in the US market in the current year against the previous year’s price of $ 5, Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) Executive Director Abul Bashar told the FE Saturday.

The shrimp export from Bangladesh grew by 52.30 per cent in the first quarter of the current fiscal against a negative growth in the last fiscal, data available from the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) showed.

Sources said the US and European importers were looking to place hefty orders but the local shrimp exporters were expressing their inability to meet the high demand.

Apart from the US and EU buyers, those from Thailand, Vietnam and China are also placing orders with the Bangladeshi shrimp producers.

Khan Habibur Rahman, a leading supplier of shrimp for the US market, said the demand was high and prices were also increasing everyday. But “unfortunately the country’s capacity is limited compared to the demand,” he added.

Sources said the shrimp exports fetched $ 174.05 million in the July-September quarter of the current fiscal year against $ 114.28 million in the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

Thailand’s shrimp production amounted to 485,000 tonnes last year, of which 80 per cent was exported. Besides, China’s total shrimp output was more than 1.5 million tonnes annually before breakout of the EMS. Of the output, about 200,000 tonnes were exported.

Since the EMS epidemic, China has been importing shrimp from India and Ecuador just to meet the great domestic demand.

Vietnam is also importing shrimp to keep its processing industry going.

However, shrimp from Bangladesh remained stockpiled for the last 12 days at the US port, as US officials are facing a partial shutdown of the government.

“Shrimp imported from Thailand, Indonesia, India and Bangladesh are decomposing,” an exporter said.

“If the situation continues for many more days, the shrimp exporters will face heavy financial losses,” he added.

-Jasim Khan/http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/index.php?ref=MjBfMTBfMTRfMTNfMV8xXzE4NjkwNA==

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