Thai aquaculture to stay soft in 2020: Report

A fisherman in the Tha Sala district in the Thai province of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
DECEMBER 05, 2019 - 1:12 PM

THAILAND'S aquaculture producers could continue to face softness into 2020, as commodity prices stay flattish, a recent report has predicted.

Although tuna prices are expected to return to between US$1,400 and US$1,500 per tonne in 2020, after a sharp year-on-year drop amid high supply in 2019, the rebound is expected to come on the back of temporary fishery shutdowns when prices fall to about US$1,000 a tonne.

Meanwhile, average shrimp prices have come down year on year on supply from neighbouring countries, and could stay flat in 2020 on higher output from markets such as Vietnam, according to UOB Kay Hian analyst Thunya Sutavepramochanon.

This is even as the majority of agri-food companies in Thailand, such as chicken, pork and soya bean dealers, have been tipped to see earnings improve in 2020 on a low base.

Demand for meat is expected to rise on higher consumption amid an economic recovery, and Thai suppliers could also pick up the slack from the impact of outbreaks of African swine fever in Vietnam and China, as the analyst believes that “China will need to import more meat - especially chicken - to make up for the shortage in swine supply in the country”.

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The house has held to its “market weight” rating on Thailand’s food sector.