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Production of Fish Meal on a Decline

13 April 2012
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service

THAILAND - Production of fish meal is estimated to drop to 485,000 MT in CY 2012 and further decline to 460,000 MT in CY 2013 mainly due to rising fuel costs that should reduce fish catching activities.

Despite this likelihood of a decline in production, Thai fish meal industry has performed well in terms of quality improvement and prices. Prevailing domestic prices have been high in the past three to four years which has attracted several fish meal manufacturers to source raw materials from food-grade fish supplies, and also improved their facilities to produce high-quality fish meal geared toward the export market. The Department of Livestock Development continues its successful campaign to improve the quality of domestic fish meal by initiating GMP and HACCP training and certification to participating fish meal plants. Thus far, more than 30 fish meal plants have received both GMP and HACCP certification, and most of them are registered as plants eligible to export fish meal to China.

A decline in domestic supplies limited consumption of fish meal to grow only by two to three per cent annually in 2012 and 2013. Limited supplies also happened in 2011 which generated a fierce competition among feed mills and exporters that domestic prices for fish meal remained high for most of the year at 31-32 baht/kg ($1,015-1,050/MT).

Thailand’s imports of fish meal in 2011 increased from 13,125 MT in 2010 to 15,525 MT. Meanwhile, feed mills successfully offered high prices to compete demand for export and this resulted in decline in fish meal exports from 110,806 MT in 2010 to 73,559 MT in 2011.

Viet Nam became the largest importer of Thai fish meal in 2011 accounting for 36 per cent of total exports, followed by China 22 per cent, Indonesia 16 per cent, and Taiwan nine per cent. The trend in fish meal exports is uncertain and will depend on the level of competition among feed mills and exporters, but exports should remain between 50,000-80,000 MT in 2012 and 2113.

The Thai Government intervenes in the import of fish meal by setting an import policy each year. As reported in FAS/Bangkok GAIN report “Thai Cabinet Approves Tariff Rate Quota for Three Feed Ingredients”, there will be no MFN quotas for fishmeal from 2012-2014.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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