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22 Mar 2023

Econ Digest

The trend of Thailand’s shrimp exports in 2023


        KResearch projects that the value of Thai shrimp exports in 2023 may reach USD1.06-1.10 billion, growing in a range of -3.5 to 0.5%YoY, due to the economic slowdown in key markets like the US and Japan, which account for approximately 55% of Thailand’s total shrimp exports to the world market. However, export growth would be attributed to an expected increase in demand, especially fresh/chilled/frozen shrimp from China following its reopening, as well as the exploration of new markets such as Taiwan and Hong Kong. Nevertheless, as the value of shrimp exports to the new markets remains small, it hardly offsets the demand slump in major markets.

        Looking ahead, Thailand’s shrimp exports still face key challenges to competitiveness in major markets, namely intense price competition and competitors enjoying greater benefits from trade measures imposed by trading partners, including the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and Free Trade Area (FTS). Since the emergence of the pandemic, Thailand has been at a disadvantage, losing the GSP advantage and not having an FTA agreement with some trading markets. In addition to improving production efficiency to ensure cost reduction, Thai shrimp exporters may focus on exploring opportunities in new potential markets such as countries in the Middle East, and should brace for the impact of climate change, as well as trading partners’ measures and consumers’ growing awareness of sustainability issues. The above challenges could put pressure on domestic shrimp prices and net income of shrimp farmers. As a result, challenges lie ahead for all parties involved, including the Shrimp Board, to maintain price stability to boost production while fostering sustainable competitiveness for the Thai shrimp industry.

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