Shrimp exports are facing a slowdown in the wake of reduced demand for locally-grown black tiger shrimps in major markets.
An increased supply of vannamei or white shrimps from other exporting countries and their reduced prices account for the slowdown.
Buyers are more interested in low-priced vannamei than in expensive black tiger shrimps, said Khan Habibur Rahman, deputy managing director of Lockpur Group, a leading seafood exporter, reports TheDailyStar.
Shrimp exports rose 3.59 per cent year-on-year to $80.3 million between July and September this year. In contrast, 52 per cent growth was recorded in the same period of last fiscal year, according to Export Promotion Bureau.
The sector, which has 8.33 lakh shrimp farmers, logged in 21 per cent year-on-year growth to $550 million in fiscal 2013-14.
Export growth has been slowing since the beginning of current fiscal year: processors see falling demand for shrimps farmed on 2.75 lakh hectares of land mainly in southwest coastal areas.
Despite price reductions during the March-June period, demand for shrimp in the EU market has not improved much this year, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations said in its quarterly publication Globefish. Overall imports of shrimp in Europe increased marginally and the incremental imports were registered for vannamei shrimps.
The demand for black tiger shrimps from Bangladesh has declined in the French market as it is now perceived to be too expensive.
Bangladesh’s exports of black tiger shrimps also suffered in the UK. The price sensitive market also bought less black tiger shrimss, FAO said.
Apart from lower prices of vannamei, weakening of Euro and Pound Sterling also affected Bangladesh’s shrimp exports, said Kazi Belayet Hossain, senior vice-president of the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association.
Market prospects for the coming months look dull, said Hossain, also the managing director of Sobi Fish Processing Ltd.
“Orders for Christmas sales come usually till the month of October and there were not that many of them this time.”