US Duties Lead to Market Opening for Bangladesh Shrimp Exporters27 August 2013
BANGLADESH - Shrimp exporters eye better days ahead as the US, the second largest importer of Bangladeshi shrimps, has imposed additional duties on imports from five of Bangladesh’s competitors.
“Our exports to the US will rise significantly, both in terms of volume and price, due to the move,” said Md Amin Ullah, president of Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association, TheDailyStar reports.
The US Commerce Department imposed the countervailing duty, ranging from 4.52 per cent to 54.5 per cent, on shrimp imports from India, China, Viet Nam, Malaysia and Ecuador as these countries give huge subsidies to their farmers.
“US traders will now look for alternative sources like Bangladesh,” Amin said.
“Even if we raise our prices by 5-10 per cent, we will still enjoy a competitive advantage as our prices will remain below what our competitors will have to offer after the duty imposition.”
Bangladeshi exporters now charge $7.50 for each pound (16-20 pieces) of black tiger shrimp in the US market, said Amin, adding that the price might increase up to $8.
Ashim Kumar Barua, director of Apex Foods Ltd, which exports mainly value added shrimp products to the US market, also echoed the same.
Exports of Bangladeshi black tiger shrimp may rise further as production of vannamei shrimp fell globally, he said.
“This will help us gain a cost advantage up to $1.5 each kg,” Barua said.
Apex Foods earned around Tk 100 crore from shrimp exports to the US market last fiscal year, while its total exports were worth Tk 330.57 crore, he said.
Bangladesh’s shrimp exports have been on the rise since June as demand from the US and Europe increased because of a production fall in some major exporting countries.
Shrimp exports rose by 33.91 per cent to $56.55 million in July compared to the same month a year ago, according to Export Promotion Bureau data.
Shrimp exports fell short by around $90 million from the target at $545.23 million last fiscal year due to price fluctuation on the international markets, exporters said.
Around 35 per cent of the total shrimp exports go to the US market, while the EU accounts for around 45 per cent, and Japan, Russia and other countries the rest, according to Amin of the exporters’ association.
Shrimp exports were never covered by any duty benefit such as generalised system of preferences of the US, he added.
Shrimp exports to the US had been on a decline for the last few years as Bangladesh could not compete with the countries who offered lower prices, said Kazi Belayet Hossain, managing director of Sobi Fish Processing Ltd, a leading exporter.
TheFishSite News Desk