Shrimp imports to the top ten markets were 8% more compared with the corresponding period a year ago. Shrimp prices in general were firm during the third quarter of 2014, but remained below the extremely high rates recorded in 2013. Export prices, however, weakened during the October-December 2014 period, when the large traditional markets carried out year-end purchases. The trend persisted into January this year.
Farmed shrimp production is seasonally low in Asia from November until March and generally prices remain firm during this period. However, since October, shrimp prices on the global market have not improved much and the prices are showing signs of softening further because demand is poor, particularly from the USA, which is holding large stocks. However, raw material supply is low as it is the off season. Hence trade direction remains uncertain in the short term.
Industry sources indicate that supplies of large sized shrimp, in particular, will be low during the first quarter of 2015.
In the USA market procurement for Lent in March and April will depend on the available stocks in the market, which will again set the price trend until the next season begins in April. The market will also monitor the supply and demand pattern in East Asia during the Lunar New Year celebrations in February.
[Source: FAO Globefish. Read Shrimp report - March 2015]